嵐がにゃーと鳴く国に外国人は来たがらない People abroad won't come to a country where Arashi meows.

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Aug 29, 2011 08:08
OK, first of all, just watch this video. This is the official advertisement for sightseeing of Japan made by The Japan Tourism Agency. It is said that this video is being broadcast at airports at 133 countries and regions around the world to attract more people to Japan.


As an official advertisement of a country, how do you find this? I would like to know your frank and immediate impressions about this.


A French writer, Régis Arnaud made an extremely cynical criticism against this advertisement on the Japanese version of 'Newsweek' dated on 24 August. He is a reporter of Le Figaro in France. His essay was entitled '嵐がにゃーと鳴く国に外国人は来たがらない' (People abroad won't come to a country where Arashi meows). It begins with the sentence '日本がここまで世界の笑いものになる例がほかにあるだろうか' (Have you ever seen any examples which make a fool of Japan towards the world as much as this one does?)

嵐がニャーと鳴く国に外国人は来たがらない
http://www.newsweekjapan.jp/column/tokyoeye/2011/08/post-375.php

'The Agency seems to want to appeal Japan to the world as a country which doesn't have any historical heritages, or any beautiful nature, but is governed by youngsters', he continued. He said that he had even thought that this advertisement could have been plotted by North Korean spies who wanted to ruin Japan's image. His ranting goes on and on until the end of the whole page, criticizing that the video doesn't introduce any beautiful scenery or historical buildings or delicious traditional foods but only shows the the members of Arashi meowing.

Who knows Arashi? Only Japanese and those who are very interested in Japanese culture know of them. The rest of the world has not even heard of them ever. Régis expected severe criticisms against the video from the mass media in Japan. To his surprise, however, they just praised the video. I guess it is because the mass media are afraid of being on the wrong side of ジャニーズ事務所 (Johnny & Associates), which talent agency Arashi belongs to.

Anyway, I totally agree with him. I guess that most people abroad can't understand why the video is closely featuring these young boys rather than Japan itself, or why they are meowing repeatedly in the official advertisement.

Régis had a word with the head of the Japan Tourist Agency, claiming that he should use well-known foreign people who like Japan, such as Robert Niro or Jackie Chan, instead of Arashi. The head officer didn't like the idea. Instead, he said the recent success of なでしこジャパン (the nickname of the national female football team of Japan) would attract many foreign people to Japan. However, Régis thought that there should be virtually no foreign people who are interested in なでしこジャパン in the first place.

Apparently, the Japan Tourist Agency doesn't have an objective view about the country which it is supposed to advertise. They don't know what people abroad know about Japan and what they don't know about Japan. Maybe they had better go travelling overseas by themselves!

If Bill Murray were featured in the advertisement video, it would be interesting. The video would be sort of a sequel of 'Lost in Translation'. The man who was 'lost' in the country in the past comes back to the country and rediscover its hidden treasures, possibly being very persuasive.