It’s relatively easy for those involved in the entertainment industry in Asia to get caught up in geopolitical scuffles, with social media accelerating and magnifying any faux pas. Put on an ill-advised shirt or get the wrong tattoo and suddenly you’ve raised diplomatic tensions tenfold.
A recent case involving Japanese virtual YouTubers inadvertently wading into some of the diciest discourse around highlights the reality of navigating the region’s myriad political flashpoints.
Kiryu Coco hasn’t courted much controversy in the past, at least not the type that makes diplomats look warily over their shoulders. Like most YouTubers, virtual or human, the majority of Kiryu Coco’s output online has involved chatting with fans or livestreaming video game sessions (with dips into J-pop karaoke), albeit delivered with more frantic energy and a knack for utilizing Western memes.