Japanese airline to change ‘racist’ Westerners ad

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A JAPANESE airline is to change a television advert after receiving complaints over its portrayal of Westerners.

All Nippon Airways intended for the ad, titled “The Japanese are changing,” to encourage Japanese to be more international, ANA spokesman Ryosei Nomura said Monday.

All Nippon Airways (ANA) passenger planes park at Haneda Airport in Tokyo. Picture: AP

All Nippon Airways (ANA) passenger planes park at Haneda Airport in Tokyo. Picture: AP

“Our intention was not to offend,” he said. The carrier would change it after receiving negative comments and phone calls, he said.

The 30-second clip pokes fun at the reserved image of Japanese as two men discuss plans for more international flights out of Tokyo’s Haneda International Airport. But it ends with one donning a long, pointy nose and blonde wig, features which many Japanese believe white Westerners to exhibit.

Reactions on ANA’s official Facebook page ranged from bemused to offended.

Nomura said the airline would take the “different opinions” into account in having the commercial changed.

Japan is largely racially homogenous, and migrant communities are relatively small.

There are few non-Asian foreigners in Japan and Westerners are often stereotyped as having blond hair, blue eyes and big noses.

 

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