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Fact-finding Survey on Hot Spring Displays(Summary) (The full report is under translation)

July 31/2003
Japan Fair Trade Commission

1 Objectives of the survey

Reflecting a fitness fad and boom in hot-spring popularity among consumers in recent years, competition for customers among hot-spring facilities (Japanese-style inns, hotels etc.) has become more active. Emphasized descriptions about content of hot spa that go beyond traditional ones are recently increasing in advertisements of touring operators. With this in mind, the JFTC conducted a survey in order to gain an understanding of the actual situations and clearly identify consumers' attitudes toward the hot spring display and to seek appropriate display by identifying the problems.

2 Points of issue in description

The survey revealed that sufficient information was not necessarily provided to consumers on addition of normal water to and heating of the source spring water and its reuse by recirculation filtration in the actual usage. The JFTC identified problems of hot spring description under the Premiums and Representations Act as below:.

(1) Emphasized descriptions such as "100% original spring", "100%natural hot spring" may induce misunderstanding of consumers when the source spring water is added with water or heated or filtrated. 
When one indicates "natural spa", it needs to be accompanied with information about water addition, heating and recirculation filtration.

(2) When one indicates effects as a medicinal spa in an advertisement based on water taken from the source spring, he needs to clearly indicate that so that they do not induce consumers to misunderstanding that the water in the bathwater has the effects.

Also, when one indicates effects as a medicinal spa, he needs to indicate them after confirming that the medicinal efficacy of bathwater actually used by the consumer is maintained.

3 JFTC response

The JFTC has requested related trade associations to notify their members to provide more information of hot spring in pamphlets etc.
The JFTC will continue to support efforts toward suitable hot spring display by companies and trade associations

*Every announcement is tentative translation. Please refer to the original text written in Japanese.

Japan Fair Trade Commission:

100-8987 1-1-1 Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo,Japan
Tel: +81-3-3581-1998
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