Image pilfered from the Nestle Japan web site.
As my very first product information post, I'm pleased to show you something which Nestle Japan was boring me with just before I left Japan. I actually feel a little guilty putting it that way because proceeds from the sales of this release are for charity. Twenty yen (about 25 cents) from each bag of 13 mini KitKats sold will go to help rebuild the Sanriku railway which was badly damaged in the Tohoku earthquake last March. The theme of "world" relates to recognizing all of the messages of support that Japan got from all over the world in the aftermath of the disaster. Each bag retails for 500 yen (525 with tax/$6.46). Nestle Japan doesn't tell you how long it will be available, but it was released on March 5, so I imagine it won't be too hard to find in the coming months.
The reason that I didn't buy this when it popped up in Japan is that it is essentially a bag of various milk chocolate KitKats. There are 5 each of the British and Australian versions of KitKats and 3 of the Japanese ones. Thirteen seems like an odd (and unlucky, if you are superstitious) number of bars to offer. It seems a bit chintzy not to just give 5 Japan bars and make it 15, but there it is.
I'm sure there are subtle taste variations between every version of a milk chocolate KitKat world-wide, but the notion of sampling such minor differences didn't wow me into buying a bag. Minis never represent the best value for KitKats anyway, so I have to be heavily enticed by the flavor to buy them when they're not on a steep discount sale. That being said, if you want to be charitable, there are worse ways to get your generosity on.
Image also pilfered from Nestle Japan.
As a related aside, Nestle Japan has announced that it has changed the basic KitKat for the first time in 37 years by making the wafers crispier. It was common in Japan to see the words "saku saku uppu! (crispier)" on man, so it seems that the Japanese market loves nothing more than brittler forms of its favorite snack treats. I'm sure that researchers in various food labs all over Japan are furrowing their brows in concentration trying to wring a few more molecules of moisture out of their processed treats.