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Japan is literally running out of chips, and planning emergency supplies by airlift

Supplies of delicious fries – which have to be imported from the US – are dwindling.

Mmm, chips.
Mmm, chips.

RESTAURANTS IN JAPAN are facing a crippling shortage of chips – so much so that one large chain is planning a giant chip airlift from the US.

McDonald’s and other fast food outlets and “family restaurants” are popular in Japan - serving Western style meals with a Japanese twist. However they depend on imports for their french-fry supplies, Kyodo News reported.

But a dockworkers’ dispute on the US West Coast has caused a months-long slowdown, creating a chip backlog and crimping imports to Japan.

The Japanese arm of McDonald’s has been having problems since mid-November, Kyodo said, while Royal Holdings, which runs several family restaurant chains, said it has a few months’ worth of chips in stock, but was keeping a close eye on things.

The operator of the Gusto chain said it planned to fly in around 200 tonnes of chips to avoid running short, the agency reported.

Source: acidpix

News of the chip woes came with Japan already in the throes of a butter shortage that is threatening to ruin Christmas for millions of cake-baking Japanese housewives.

Supermarket shelves have been empty for weeks, with any new stock disappearing almost as fast as it arrives, despite store-imposed limits of one pack per customer.

The ministry earlier said a sweltering summer had left the nation’s cows exhausted, and sapped their milk-producing ability.

- © AFP, 2014

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