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Profiles of Japanese living overseas; CM of the week: Astalift

It’s been said that Japanese people, especially younger ones, no longer travel abroad in search of adventure. This week there are three programs that go looking for Japanese people who do just that.

One of the shows is the special two-hour premiere of a new series called “Sekai no Nihonjin-zuma wa Mita” (“What the World’s Japanese Wives Saw”; TBS, Tues., 7 p.m.), which seeks out married Japanese women living in foreign countries. However, the husbands aren’t necessarily non-Japanese. For instance, this week the subject is the wife of walking guru Duke Saraie, a Japanese national who lives in Monaco among the rich and fabulous. The show also visits a few wives who live in New York.

Taking a more adventurous route, the three-hour special “Sekai Naze Soko ni? Nihonjin” (“Why in the World Here? Japanese”; TV Tokyo, Fri., 6:30 p.m.) reports on Japanese people who not only live abroad, but do so for very unusual reasons. One man resides in Tanzania, where he partakes of dangerous safari tours. His family lives back in Japan, so why is he “risking his life” in this dangerous occupation?

Then there’s the 86-year-old World War II veteran who lives in Russia. He was captured by the Soviets at the close of the war and spent years in a prison camp. After he was finally released, he returned to Japan but decided to come back to Russia. Why? The special also covers a man who lives in the jungles of Malaysia with his adopted native child.

In the same vein there’s “Sekai no Mura de Hakken! Konna Tokoro ni Nihonjin” (“Found in the Villages of the World! Japanese in Such a Place”; TV Asahi, Fri., 9 p.m.), in which TV personality Kimiko Ikegami travels to a village 3,850 meters above sea level in the mountains of Peru to interview a Japanese woman. The regular variety show also introduces a plan to seek out Japanese people living in each of the 54 countries of Africa.

CM of the week

Astalift: Fujifilm has seen success with its line of women’s cosmetics, including Astalift White, a makeup base. In its latest ad, actress Takako Matsu stands in front of a mirror reciting self-actualization bromides such as, “I have confidence in myself,” while her image says what’s really in her mind. In the end, the image compromises by saying, “But I have hope.” Whiter skin, apparently, will help.