Do you like a few glasses of milk to wash that little bit of frames?
Japan is looking for potatoes and sinking in milk as the country faces unique problems linked to those that have plagued businesses and customers around the world recently.
McDonald’s on Tuesday said it would have to provide fried foods in Japan due to shortages, in stark contrast to the government’s efforts to get people to drink more milk due to overdoses that could force its liters to be discarded.
Both of these problems seem to have links to both the Covid-19 epidemic and extreme weather.
The giant will temporarily reduce sales of its popular films into smaller parts and stop selling medium-sized parts nationwide from December 24 to December 30, the company said in a statement on its website.
McDonald's has highlighted the shortage of recent floods in Canada and the disruption to supply supplies due to Covid-19.
It said it was importing potatoes from North America, especially the port of Vancouver which had recently been hit by delays due to floods in the region. Combined with the supply disruption caused by the epidemic, the company is facing difficulties in getting shipments to Japan. He said he had turned to other means, including flying and frozen items.
McDonald’s owns more than 3,000 restaurants in Japan, and is the most popular in the country.
The world's third-largest economy has imposed strict border controls against Covid-19, which has killed more than 18,000 people in the country since the outbreak began. Japan reported its first public distribution of omicron variants on Wednesday, but the rate of new infections has been declining recently despite the recent global diversity.
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"(The shortage of films) is largely due to the McDonald's supply chain," Hiroshi Ohashi, a professor of economics at the University of Tokyo, told NBC News in an email. "They bought potatoes in the U.S., when shipping was bottled," he added.
Some customers were rushing to buy their films before the restrictions were announced on Friday.
“I would not have planned a meal at McDonald’s today. However, I knew in the news that McDonald's would not be offering films in medium and large portions from Friday all week, "Sakato Mayumi, 37, a housewife, told NBC News via Instagram." . ”
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Japan is not the first country to address service delivery problems including McDonald's and milk. The company was forced to remove milkshakes from the menu for some time in the UK earlier this year as Covid merged with Brexit to impact the country's supply chain.
But while fried potatoes will soon be hard to find, the Japanese are experiencing an abundance of milk.
With a strong focus on farms on the island of Hokkaido in northern Japan, the dairy industry suffers from what appears to be a combination of unusually high availability and low demand.
The Japan Dairy Association said on its website that continuing the spread of Covid-19 reduces the need for milk, which is usually given to school students in a box. Local media have also cited the cool summer as a possible reason for the increase in climate availability, as such weather could improve the growth of dairy cows.
This year’s offer calls for a slowdown in domestic dairy production due to a decline in the number of farmers as the age of the Japanese population and youth shifts from rural areas.
This year's products call for a slowdown in domestic dairy production due to a decline in the number of farmers as the age of the Japanese population and youth rises from the rural areas.Kohei Tsuchida / AP File
"(The fullness of milk) is due to the low demand for domestic milk, where large consumers such as schools and restaurants are unable to provide fresh food, including milk, for a long time," Ohashi said. "The dramatic change in visual learning brought about by the epidemic has reduced the need for schools to buy more milk as part of their school lunch program."
About 5,000 tons of raw milk may need to be disposed of by the end of 2021, according to government estimates.
This has led political leaders to urge the public to drink and use the product more.
"We would like people to work together to drink more cups of milk than you normally do and to use dairy products in cooking," Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said during a news conference on Tuesday.
Last week the country's farm minister joined the Tokyo governor in a press conference where they both drank a cup of milk to set an example of what they hoped would be a healthy national effort.
Lawson, a Japanese grocery retailer, offers a 50 percent discount on hot milk cups from December 31 to Jan 1 in an effort to attract winter customers.
Milk giant Meiji also launched a milk-based campaign against Saori Yoshida, a three-time Olympic wrestling champion.