Japanese Company Apologises For 12 Cent Price Increase

Akagi Nyugyo Co. is apologising for increasing the price of its long-selling ice treat Gari-Gari Kun. Starting April this month, each popsicle’s price will be raised from 60 yen to 70 yen. This is the first price hike in 25 years. Sorry about that! As the Mainichi News points out, Akagi isn’t the only company raising prices (Suntory Whisky, for example, will also be more expensive) this autumn, but so far, the company is the first I’ve seen to apologise like this.

Playing in the background is Wataru Takada’s wonderful folk song “Neage” (値上げ), which means “Price Hike”. The lyrics talk about not wanting to increase the price, while the text reads, “We held out for 25 years, but [the price is increasing] from 60 to 70 [yen].” That’s a price increase of 10 yen, which is around 12 cents. The reason for the hike, Mainichi News explains, is due to an increase in the cost of ingredients and labour.

Then the staff, executives and all bow before the camera. Apology culture can be seen through Japanese corporate culture, especially when there are screw-ups, but here, this is different. It’s also a very smart way to introduce a price increase and drums up publicity. Case in point, the ad is all over Japanese websites and now, on this Western one.


    Honest advertising? Justifiable price hike logically taking into account the exact price it would actually take per icecream?

    WHAT IS THIS MADNESS??? If it were Australia we'd just see an extra buck tacked on and a reduction in physical size by 10%.

    Oddly satisfying article Bashcraft. Well done.

    Last edited 05/04/16 7:21 pm

      Didn't we see pretty much this exact thing when Maccas raised the price of their 30 cent cone?

    Nice. Thanks for posting something a little different

    I wonder how many days of free data Telstra executives would rather give than a public bow. 5? 10?

    Yet the Japanese are wholly unapologetic about killing and eating whales captured for 'research'....I don't get them at all.

      Well, some Japanese... those involved with "whale research". But for the rest of the populace whale meat isn't that popular.

      Let's not forget those who still vehemently deny Japan's war crimes, including the widespread abuse of comfort women. We're not just talking about a few crazy nationalists either: many well-known and powerful Japanese people, including PM Shinzo Abe, are a big part of the 'revisionist' movement :-(

      It's almost as though the people who work at the ice treat factory and the people who hunt whales are different people.

        Nonsense. Everyone knows that any group of people with a commonality strictly adhere to stereotypes and their worst elements. It's possible I could be lying though. I'm just a convict after all.

        Last edited 06/04/16 9:04 am

    i remember being caught a little off guard the last time I was in Osaka when the the items I purchased in the 100 yen store were actually 105 yen

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now