A Chinese shop owner told The Associated Press he was surprised to see a huge quantity of Japanese kitchen equipment in his shop in the city of Changsha.
“I was surprised by it because I had no idea what was going on,” said Xu Yuzhou, who runs the shop in a small building in the central business district of Changshan.
The items are mostly for home use and not for use at restaurants.
The shop is open to customers from all over China, and the price is often a bit higher than most of the Western markets.
Xu said his staff sometimes pays around 20 percent more for items they buy from Japanese suppliers than they would have been for their own goods.
“Japanese people are just better at making the most of what they have,” Xu said.
He said he is not too concerned about the impact on his customers.
“My customers are usually very polite and kind,” he said.
Chinese authorities have stepped up efforts to crack down on imports of Japanese items in recent years.
But Xu said he has noticed that the country’s culinary traditions and traditional foods are becoming more and more foreign.
“Chinese restaurants are always getting new dishes, but not always new ingredients,” he added.
He recalled a restaurant in a Chinese shopping center that once made only fried chicken but had recently brought in the same ingredients from Japan.
“The customers are really friendly and they are so eager to try everything,” he recalled.
Xu also said he noticed that some Japanese restaurants have stopped bringing in items such as the popular Kikkoman-branded hand towels, which have become a popular item in China.
He also said the government has banned some items, such as a Japanese-made dish called japanese fried rice, from being sold in Chinese supermarkets.
But he said he was not worried about that, because it would not affect his business.
“We will always be selling the products that our customers like,” he joked.
In the past year, more than 200,000 items of Japanese and Korean food have been imported into China.
Many of the items are popular with Chinese tourists, and some have become popular imports among the countrys fast-growing middle class.
Xu and other shop owners said they are hoping the government will make changes to the rules for importing food, which could include banning certain items from being imported.
In October, a local newspaper reported that officials had started to look into restricting certain imports, including the popular kimchi noodles and spicy beef.
Authorities in Changsha, in the southwestern city of Xichang, also banned some foreign products from being sent to the city, including those from Japan, Korea, Taiwan and South Korea.