Thanks for your inputs. But now what? So today I went to the Babies R Us store to look for a seat my toddler will fit since he is outgrowing his current one (head is already at the top of the car seat). But the clerks told me that they don't sell rear-facing car seats for toddlers in Japan because the standard is to forward face them at (I forget already, language translation overload, lol!) either 1 1/2 years or by 2 years at the latest.
They had "junior car seats" meant for toddlers that are forward facing, but only have a big bar across the lap. That didn't look at all safe to me.
Then they said, for the younger, baby car seats, there are a couple that could still fit a toddler and while these are still forward facing, they at least have shoulder straps. However, they don't have that clip that goes higher up across the chest as it is "dangerous" (for what reason, I don't know, and they didn't really explain). I don't know enough about car seats since my only experience with child car seats is here in Japan, so I don't know what to look for.
How are rear facing car seats secured to the car's car seats in the US? Is it just the back seat adult seat belt buckle strapped to the front part of the child car seat? The the head/back part of the child car seat is only resting on the car's front seat back? That is how the rear facing baby car seats are installed here. But I've always wondered if that is safe, if that is how it is in America too?
If they don't sell rear facing car seats for toddlers here, could I just get the one I mentioned above, but install it rear-facing? (Or maybe it is not even possible, I didn't think to look at that aspect... maybe they don't have a way to allow the adult seat belt buckle to secure onto the baby car seat.) But if I can and do, is it better to have it reclined still, or okay to prop it more upright? Should I look for a chest clip I can just add on myself or is it really dangerous as they told me?
The thought did cross my mind to see if I could order from the US, but the COST! I seriously don't think we would be able to afford it as shipping alone would be majorly expensive. Plus, I wouldn't know if there would be any quirks such that a US car seat wouldn't work in a Japanese car.
What to do? Do I have any other options you can see that I am not aware of?