There are Japanese as well as Chinese rice vinegars, both made from rice wine lees and alcohol, and both less acidic and milder in flavour than white vinegar.
Chinese rice vinegar comes in three types: white (clear or pale amber), used mainly in sweet and sour dishes; red, a popular accompaniment for boiled or steamed crab; and black, used mainly as a table condiment. The white is more commonly available in Asian supermarkets.
The Japanese have raised the making of rice vinegar to a fine art. The almost colorless Japanese rice vinegar is used in a variety of Japanese preparations, including sushi rice and sunomono (vinegared salads).