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Japan launches global 'thank you' poster campaign

62 Comments

The Japan Tourism Agency this week launched a poster campaign aimed at thanking overseas organizations for their support after the March 11 disaster and to thank tourists who visited Japan and contributed to its economic health following the disaster.

The campaign is called "Japan. Thank You." It will run from late February to late April to coincide with the first anniversary of the disaster.

Two posters have been created for the campaign. One shows a cherry blossom and says "Japan. Thank You." The other features an image of a koi (carp) attempting to swim up a waterfall, to symbolize Japan's struggle against adversity. It says "Japan, Rising Again -- Thank you for your support." The koi motif was designed by 69-year-old Kyoto-based artist Hideki Kimura.

The posters will be put up in Tokyo, Yokohama, New York and other major cities. In Kyoto, they will be used to promote the Kyoto Marathon on March 11 and the Higashiyama Hanatoro festival on March 10-20. Stickers will also be displayed in buses and taxis around the city.

Japan Tourism Agency officials said the poster campaign is also aimed at attracting tourists to Japan, which is vital to revitalizing the economy.

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62 Comments
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"Japan. Thank you."

doesn't really express the intended thought, does it? "Japan thanks you." would be more appropriate?

11 ( +12 / -2 )

doesn't really express the intended thought, does it? "Japan thanks you." would be more appropriate?

Yup. It looks more like the creators are thanking Japan. I guess the Japan Tourism Agency, a government agency, could not manage to find even one native English speaker to check it, or they ignored suggested corrections. Nice work.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

I agree. The meaning doesnt come across well at all. The former sounds like Japan is being thanked, not doing the thanking. The latter - "Japan Rising Again" just looks like an advert for an art exhibition or something, even with the teeny tiny "thank you for your support" - which could be interpreted as "thank you for coming to the exhibition".

If the message was intended for overseas organisations and tourists, did they actually consult with anyone foreign in designing this? Maybe just my eyes, but if they did it seems to me they havent been given great advice. I dont think these posters are going to be easily understood. Hope I am wrong though because it is disappointing that another good opportunity has been missed.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

because it is disappointing that another good opportunity has been missed.

And tax money was used to miss it.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

I am also wondering why we are also not thanking just for thankings sake? Many people all over the world gave freely of their money and time to help in the darkest days of the disaster. Why cant Japan simply thank them from their heart, and let them know how welcome they would be to come here so Japanese can also thank them personally, without it also being a "poster campaign aimed at attracting tourists to Japan"?

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

Japan Tourism Agency officials said the poster campaign is also aimed at attracting tourists to Japan, which is vital to revitalizing the economy.

The true intention is to attract more tourists. I think the industry will continue to suffer low numbers for this year, and maybe, more.

Agree about the slogan which should say, "Japan Thanks You!"

8 ( +9 / -1 )

or just put 'Thank You'

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Maybe they've been using those cheap translation agencies that seem to be on the rise. Having a venerable artist and traditional motifs doesn't do it if the message is garbled.

A simple Japan thanks you or Japan says Thank You isn't that difficult and would have kept the ashi out of the kuchi.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

To me.... when everything is over and things are back to normal... then you say Thank You. Until then every Yen should be going towards the recovery process.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Who is resposnsible for teaching English to these fools who made this poster ?

Come on own up who didn't teach properly at the Tourism Agency, stand up take responsibility.

Japan. Thank you.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

ashi out of the kuchi - bwa ha ha! nice one cleo!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I likewise am frustrated by the very common use of Engrish in Japan.

A simple (and cheap) way to correct english is to put up the poster (not necessarily with pictures, just the text) on a display window with a caption "If the poster sounds funny to you, please feel free to come in and tell us".

But knowing the "pride" ... most Japanese would just ignore the grammatical error.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

English never occurred to me as being a hard language to learn. That is before I went to France or Japan.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Japan Rising Again.

At first, I thought it meant that Imperial Japan was rising to power again. I understand what they are trying to say, however, the meaning could have been projected differently. The signs I see at the entrance and exits to the Okinawa Expressway say thank you in a betterway then these posters do....and in Japanese, English, Chinese and Korean.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Qaueckernaeck. Thank you.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The Japan Tourism Agency seems to be staffed by twits...none of their campaign attempts of late show any imagination, flair or creativity whatsoever..I,m guessing it`s just one big amakudari parking lot over there where they just keep recycling same ideas and images over and over again without any meaningful result apart from wasting a whole lot of taxpayers money.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

A picture of 渡辺 杏, a 日の丸 and a thank you would have been great!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Even if you translate the "Japan. Thank you." into Japanese it sounds weird. Who even thought of that? Yet another gaffe to add to already long list.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Craptacular English - so close.......yet so far from conveying what they actually want to say. How about posters being sent to all the groups, govts, schools, NPOs, rescue workers, troops, etc that actually helped / are helping?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

with the Yen Rising Again, most potential tourists will be thinking No Thank You, Japan.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

How many people outside Japan actually know the symbolic meaning of koi? If they really wanted to deliver the message of Japan's revival all over the world, choosing some more international symbol, like the phoenix, for example, would be more successful.

I remember few years ago the Japan Tourism Agency was recruiting, and I dared to apply. They told me that they don't hire foreigners (aforeigner can't be koumuin). I, however, doubt that a foreigner with some English skills would write such nonsence on an international poster that is supposed to prompte Japan abroad. What the poster actually is saying is" We probably won't be able to communicate with you if you visit Japan".

5 ( +5 / -0 )

A poster? That's it? What happened to the 10,000 free flights to Japan they claimed they would give away? That's the thank you some of us were looking for.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I'm not sure if "rising again" is the most appropriate slogan, although it is good that they portrayed koi instead of whales.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Both slogans give the wrong message. What is it with Rising suns and rising Japans and sunrise parties ?

Oh Japan.. Spank you.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

another waste of time and money. the norm here is to ask and pay for advice from native speakers and then proceed to ignore it.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Even if we translate this phrase in Japanese, it will say:-

Nihon. Arigatou gozaimashita...what???? Japan. Thank you.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@ almostshat your countryman needs to improve their GK

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If the goal is to bring foreign tourists to Japan, it doesn't make sense to put the posters on display in Tokyo and Yokohama.

I also agree that the meaning of "Japan. Thank you." is not clear.

Is it the best way to spend taxpayers money? What about cutting public spending and start and these wasteful campaigns?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The Japan Tourism Agency seems to be staffed by twits...none of their campaign attempts of late show any imagination, flair or creativity whatsoever..I,m guessing it`s just one big amakudari parking lot over there where they just keep recycling same ideas and images over and over again without any meaningful result apart from wasting a whole lot of taxpayers money.

BINGO!

Speaking from the experience of going to the JTA office and meeting the head honcho and other leaders, Marecelito is spot on. And their one of their big problems is that their funding is always getting cut, so they have to do things on the cheap. And when nicely told that they should get input from Native English speakers with their slogans etc, only blank stares came back from them. They are all bureaucrats without any true creative spark to do justice to the tax money that they do spend.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Mission Accomplished!!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Japan. Thank you.

I'm like: WTF do you try to say with this meaningless Janglish? This looks like it was written by someone who can't speak any English, but just thought it sounds cool..

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Yes, Thank you, Japan. Oh wait, they were trying to thank OTHERS with this poster. My bad.

Both are horrible slogans for posters, and the "Japan. Thank You." doesn't work in ANY language. 日本。ありがとう。Nope! I like the design of said poster (the Koi one is a little over the top, especially with the "Rising Again"), but it could EASILY have been changed to be one that expresses thanks to others FROM Japan instead of liking like they are thanking themselves.

Come on, guys! Why not just "Thank you" or "Japan Thanks you"??

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The should make a poster with a clown pointing at its nose and saying, "We speaku sanku to we are world Japan from desu!"

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Could have been an unfortunate word play with Japan rising and Japan sinking, "sank you". Who knows! At least the carp is beautiful.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Again, no surprise. The laughable "Japan. Thank you." could have been corrected in 3 minutes by the latest 21 year-old JET fresh off the banana boat for the price of a 6pack. Instead the arrogant oyajis who rule this country have shown their contempt for not only foreign countries, but the English language. If they were truly thankful to the International community, they would have made more than this half-assed effort. You just know this multi-million dollar campaign slogan was thought up by some 72 year old backroom empty suit who thinks himself proficient in Engrish after spending a 3 day holiday in Hawaii back in 1995.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

What would be smart is selling posters with better communication to raise money for the victims. No sort of critical thinking skills.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

What about "Thank you World" from Japan

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If they want FREE English advice, they just have to make up a story and submit it to Japan Today where will get 30+ posters telling them what it SHOULD be.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

If they're going to send a message to the world, can't they at least get the three words proof-read by a native or fluent speaker? Christ, JT did a better job with their manner campaigns, and that was still so boring to read and completely pointless.

In response:

Rest of the world.

Thank you for the caesium.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

These posters are amazingly beautiful and the English "Japan. Thank you." is one of the best poetry I have every heard. It captures the HAIKU, a traditional Japanese poetry form in which less is to say more, to capture the essense of JAPANESE. But many cannot feel that essence from overseas, so I suspect they will be confused by this. But this is of course meant for the domestic Japanese consumer to feel cheerful heart and relish jealously the feeling of KIZUNA (a special bond between Japanese people) which is unique to us. So now Tohoku people will smile and feel a refreshed breeze in their cheerful hearts!

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

Lol.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Japan launches global 'thank us' poster campaign

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I guess this poster was selected by the same panel that decided on Sento-kun :D

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Grammar aside, everyone knows the meaning. The meaning is the message. You are welcome. Japan. Anytime.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

A poster? That's it? What happened to the 10,000 free flights to Japan they claimed they would give away? That's the thank you some of us were looking for.

Gross. You're not entitled to a free flight to Japan.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

It is unprofessionally poor grammar. Something that one would expect the government's Tourism Agency, at least, to know well enough to get right.

The sentiment is an excellent one but the execution is sadly lacking.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I LIVE NEAR FRANKFURT, if you want me like tourist in Japan, promote a low cost prices for airplane fly FRANKFURT - TOKIO. it is too expensive now.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I'd laugh at the first comment, but just yesterday saw a T-shirt with this on the back in very large letters: THANKS YOU.

Anyway, really nice looking posters with a nice sentiment (soon to be sediment offshore to Daiichi). Unfortunately, Japan is still rising in radioisotopes.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Ranger Miffy. Thank you! :-)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Japan. You are welcome.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@j4p4n actually has a good point. This poster is meant for consumption by Japanese, not Others. The point of most printed English here is for decoration, and it is basically Japanese in a kakoii/cool disguise. That is why English is not proofed by a native speaker. It is not* English, really.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Arigoto Nihongojin to the Japanese people for reminding us all that when disasters strike heros are born, from simple acts of kindness.*

0 ( +0 / -0 )

These posters are amazingly beautiful and the English "Japan. Thank you." is one of the best poetry I have every heard. It captures the HAIKU, a traditional Japanese poetry form in which less is to say more, to capture the essense of JAPANESE. But many cannot feel that essence from overseas, so I suspect they will be confused by this. But this is of course meant for the domestic Japanese consumer to feel cheerful heart and relish jealously the feeling of KIZUNA (a special bond between Japanese people) which is unique to us. So now Tohoku people will smile and feel a refreshed breeze in their cheerful hearts!

I work in public relations. THAT was a well written paragraph.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This poster is meant for consumption by Japanese, not Others.

Wrong. it is for international consumption. Just look at the press release from the tourism agency. www.mlit.go.jp/kankocho/en/page01_000239.html The email addresses included indicate that they are welcoming input regarding the project.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Ranger Miffy - read that 1st sentence again. There you go. How many times can this government get things do fundamentally wrong?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Reading the FAQ on their website my head almost exproded..http://www.mlit.go.jp/kankocho/en/concierge/faq.html

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Propaganda. Rising ... mada mada. Tohoku is not safe. Anywhere else is fine. But, who could possible afford to come here? As for the poster, this is common practice among companies. They don't consider the grammatical aspect of a slogan, but rather the effect on the local market. And in fairness, to others outside Japan that are not English teachers, the grammar will go unnoticed by most.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Oops. "possibly" - see mistakes everywhere!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

They hardly ever check their english with native speakers. They really should change that, like the first post says, Japan Thanks You would be much better or Thank You, From Japan. Its annoying sometimes that they dont check it. even international companies. Starbucks had their staff wearing shirts that said "Let's Merry" this past christmas. Now Starbucks should know better.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Since it is for international use (and yes, I did read the article), then why the English blunder? Because it is haiku? No, because they do not check with a native speaker. Or run it by this JT crowd.

BTW, on TV today, covering some fire in the Osaka station, there was an official sign posted right by the burned out area proclaiming "Cameras in Operating". Same scenario.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Al Stewart, "Let's Merry" is very cute! I like it. I think Japan has made some tremendous improvments to English by using it in very creative manner.

Mr knowitall,

Do you know about TATEMAE, the Japanese traditional? This is why it seems intending for international audience. Its is the TATEMAE (a Japanese traditional communication).

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

What this is "tatemae"? WRONG. I don't think so. So you're saying it just seems like it's for international audiences, and that the campaign is really just a facade, and it's actually a self-serving cause for Japanese people here? The Japan Tourism Agency clearly states its intent throughout their messaging (http://www.mlit.go.jp/common/000192440.pdf). Plus i'd rather believe that it's just another English blunder, than some deeper, selfish or hidden meaning.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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