Thursday, July 22, 2004

Commercial Fear

The sweatshirts, and coats that look like plain waterproofs, are made from the same fibers used in police and military knife-proof and bullet-proof vests , according to the maker, Madre.

'We created this product so children would be ok, even if they went off to play by themselves,' said a spokesman for Madre, a provider of child day-care services before it added protective clothing to its portfolio earlier this year.

The clothing, sold only through the company's web site, www.defense.to, isn't cheap, at 46,095 yen ($419) for the coat and from 40,950 yen for the sweatshirt. They come in 12 colors and can be embroidered with initials or other slogans.

Japan has always prided itself on its low crime rate, but concern over child safety has grown after a series of crimes involving children.

An intruder attacked pupils with a knife at a primary school in western Japan in December 2003 and an 11-year-old schoolgirl murdered a classmate in June by slashing her throat.

Earlier this month, a Japanese software firm unveiled chip-embedded student ID cards that alert parents via email when children arrive at and leave school.
"... the same fibers used in police and military knife-proof and bullet-proof vests ..." Couldn't they have just said Kevlar?

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