A commercial for All Nippon Airlines, one of Japan’s flagship carriers, has been making headlines recently. Released last Saturday, the 30-second spot shows two Japanese men (one a comedian named Bakarhythm, but let’s call them A and B) standing by an airport observation-deck window, speaking English with Japanese subtitles.

Looking out at the jets, A says, “Haneda Airport has more international flights nowadays.” B replies, “Finally.” Their exchange goes on: “Next stop, Vancouver.” “Next stop, Hanoi.” “Exciting, isn’t it?” Then B says, rather oddly, “You want a hug?” When A only gives him a nonplussed look, B continues, “Such a Japanese reaction.” When A explains, “But I am Japanese,” B counters, “I see. Let’s change the image of Japanese people.” And A, smiling broadly, agrees. (Ad archived here.)

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