Photo: YouTube/Nike Japan
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Nike ad addresses bullying and racism in Japan; riles up debate online

162 Comments
By SoraNews24

Ever since their 1988 “Just Do It” ad, sports brand Nike has become known for producing commercials that spark a conversation and leave a lasting impression on viewers.

Last year, they got the conversation going around all the annoying questions tennis star Naomi Osaka has to deal with surrounding her ethnicity, and now they’re back to tackle another tough subject: the experience of young foreign residents in Japan.

The new commercial is called “Ugokashitsuzukeru. Jibun wo. Shorai wo. The future Isn’t Waiting“, with the Japanese part translating to “Keep Moving. Yourself. The future.” Featuring stories based on “the real-life experience of athletes”, this clip shows three soccer girls from different backgrounds in Japan — one is Japanese, one is Korean, and one is, like Osaka, mixed race, with a Black father and Japanese mother — and reveals how they “overcome their daily struggles and conflicts to move their future through sports.”

The commercial has English subtitles available, so click the white gear button next to the CC in the bottom right corner to turn them on, and take a look at the clip below.

The two-minute video is a moving look at what it can be like to be a young girl into soccer in Japan. The Japanese girl is bullied at school and struggles to meet her parents’ expectations to excel at schoolwork, with her questioning, “Am I good enough?”

On the other hand, the Black Japanese girl struggles to blend in, wondering “Am I normal enough?” as her Japanese classmates stare at her for looking different and touch her hair in the girls’ bathroom.

She can be seen watching a video of Osaka on her phone, and one of the comments that’s often directed at the tennis player, “So are you American or Japanese?” appears to hit home for her as well.

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The Korean girl, who’s a transfer student in Japan, can be seen scrolling through information on her phone that discusses the “zainichi problem”, with “zainichi” meaning “foreign resident in Japan” and often used to refer to Koreans. Japanese-Korean relations can be tense and often hostile, and this girl gets stared at menacingly on the street and wonders if she should stand out a little less and get people to like her.

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In the end, though, all three girls, who experienced all of these insecurities and feared that “Maybe I just have to deal with it“, eventually come to the realisation that no, they don’t have to just deal with it. They don’t have to wait until one day for things to change and get better — they will make it happen, by proudly doing what they love to do, and proudly loving their ethnicity and who they are as well.

▼ Nike reminds us that sport brings people from all sorts of backgrounds together.

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The commercial brings to light the problem of bullying in Japan, and Nike’s handling of the issue drew many Japanese supporters on social media.

“This is amazing. I feel like I’ve never seen a commercial that cuts into the issue of living in Japan and minorities in Japanese advertising.”

“Thank you so much. Please continue to send important messages like this.”

“I’m so impressed by Nike. Thank you!”

“This made me cry. It would be wonderful if we could stop young people having thoughts like this.”

“So good – I’m always buying Nike because of ads like this!”

However, on the other side of the fence, a large number of Japanese took offense to the ad, saying:

“Is Japan really such a country full of discrimination? It feels like you’re creating a false impression of Japan.”

“You’re crossing the line and making Japanese people look foolish.”

“I feel this depicts Japanese as being extremely inhumane.”

“It’s not just Japan – discrimination exists in other countries too.”

“There’s no bullying in Japan!”

“I won’t buy Nike ever again!”

The video ruffled so many feathers with right-wingers in Japan that the video actually received more dislikes than likes, with 18,000 dislikes and 17,000 likes as of this writing. The comments on the YouTube video itself were also filled with hateful, racist remarks and comments from people who appear to be blind to bullying as a problem here, despite the fact that you can buy bully insurance for your children in Japan.

All the dislikes and negative comments on the video actually suggest that Nike has hit a nerve, with some commenters saying this just proves how necessary an ad like this is in today’s society. The more we expose the Japanese public to stories of bullying and racism, the more they’ll be able to recognize it and stop it, so when Japanese comedians joke about Naomi Osaka’s complexion being “too sunburned” or a Japanese company whitewashes the tennis star for their commercials, people will be able to realize what’s happening and call them out for it.

Addressing problems like bullying and racism in Japan isn’t a slur on the country — it’s a gentle prod towards improving society for everyone, so that one day, when another Japanese girl like Naomi Osaka makes it big on the world stage, people can accept her for who she is, instead of continually asking her about her love of katsudon.

Sources: YouTube/Nike Japan via Jin, Hachima Kiko

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- The depressing diet of a Tokyo prostitute during Japan’s Edo period

-- You can now buy bully insurance for your kids in Japan

-- Naomi Osaka stirs up debate about what it means to be Japanese following U.S. Open victory

© SoraNews24

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.

162 Comments
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A very salient ad for Japan. Remember: Just because we are pointing out an aspect of jaoanese society that is in desperate need of improvement, it does not mean we are bashing Japan, don’t like Japan, or trying to make Japan look bad.

65 ( +78 / -13 )

If it encourages and helps young people talk about and discuss bullying and racism then it works for me. No society is free of bullying or racism. Even though the total numbers of non Japanese are small compared to the national population Japan is to some degree multi racial.

Because of bullying too many young people every year take their own lives.

50 ( +58 / -8 )

Racism and bullying in Japan? I find that hard to believe, NOT! A spade is a spade! Suck it up Japan! The truth can be a very bitter pill to swallow.

47 ( +56 / -9 )

Japan has always had an extreme denial of racism within its borders.

But good, the truth is getting out there little by little.

41 ( +48 / -7 )

Case in point per my above comment.

However, on the other side of the fence, a large number of Japanese took offense to the ad, saying:

“Is Japan really such a country full of discrimination? It feels like you’re creating a false impression of Japan.”

“You’re crossing the line and making Japanese people look foolish.”

“I feel this depicts Japanese as being extremely inhumane.”

“It’s not just Japan – discrimination exists in other countries too.”

“There’s no bullying in Japan!”

“I won’t buy Nike ever again!”

24 ( +29 / -5 )

Surely, it is time for the Japanese to wake up and take a harder look at their own country.One thing is the high number of suicides amongst the young and the lack of confidence that many young people have....

26 ( +32 / -6 )

43,000 dislikes as of this morning. Very disappointing.

31 ( +38 / -7 )

difference between Japan and other countries is that despite of existence of rasism and discrimination and bully over the globe. In Japan it's hard to adress it.

people here want to hear only about wonderful, fabulous Japan. Not about the problems that could be fixed.

example: kids are allowed calling foreigner teachers by names, they are being told that they should ignore it. But is ok to call japanese teacher by names no? So why it's ok to do it with foreigner. Ignore it? No way. It's just setting wrong example and sending bad message. Your reputation as a "teacher" will drop to "funny gaijin"

33 ( +39 / -6 )

I usually don't like the Nike bravado, but this ad touches on issues that need to be addressed in Japan. Good on them, for once

21 ( +26 / -5 )

Who died and made Nike a human rights NGO?

I thought they were a shoe brand.

-45 ( +21 / -66 )

Japanese people never experience racism within the country so they don't know how hurtful it can be. Education starts in schools. I have personally experienced very little racism during my 30 years living here but there have been a few hurtful moments. But many people do experience racism.

32 ( +39 / -7 )

“Is Japan really such a country full of discrimination? It feels like you’re creating a false impression of Japan.”

Yes. Sadly it is full of such discrimination. No. It' isn't a false impression. Rather it's a point of view that the Japanese don't wish to comprehend. It doesn't fit the Four Seasons Land of the Rising Sun with Uber Cool Technology and Always Polite People narrative.

25 ( +31 / -6 )

As the father of 2 bi-racial daughters (to be fair, I’m white so i realize my girls got off comparatively easy) this really hit home.

38 ( +45 / -7 )

During my long life here in Japan, I didnt feel any racism towards me.

Sometimes At work, I face a kind of ... hmmm... how to say that, kind of strange behaviour towards me, because I am a foreigner.

But it is not racism. It is more a kind of bullying. And this kind of bullying grows up from jealousy and frustration at work. And the japanese people thinks a foreigner is an easy victim to release their stress and frustration. Especially at work or at school.

But immediately when it starts, I fight back! And I always ask them, is that because I am foreigner? And at once, the situation is back to peace again. If you confront them directly with racism, they immediately stop.

But for young kids in junior high, or high school, it is very difficult. The teachers have the responsibility to stop racism and bullying at school. But unfortunately they always close their eyes.

I really support what Nike is doing here, and I hope this will open some eyes of some racists. Not only in Japan, but all over the world.

1 ( +26 / -25 )

Your reputation as a "teacher" will drop to "funny gaijin"

You’re not actually a teacher though. You don’t have the license. And the kids know it.

-46 ( +9 / -55 )

“Is Japan really such a country full of discrimination? It feels like you’re creating a false impression of Japan.”

Yes Japan, there is....

I changed my kid's sports club because all of the other kids used to gang up..never talk to my child, and used words like "kirai da.." whenever they had to team up.

The coach frequently and vocally made people of my nation one team and all the Japanese kids another team..and never appreciated my child even when the job was well done...

When I relate these experiences to friends in my country, they are all very surprised.... Because they look at the tourist propaganda showing Omotenashi...

29 ( +34 / -5 )

bernard marx

i actually do...

i used to work at japanese ninka hoikuen. There you need japanese teaching license. I have one.

also you don't introduce yourself as: hey kids, I am teacher without licence. if you do Japanese parents will want get you fired.

31 ( +38 / -7 )

There’s always denial and resistance when reality and the truth comes from outside Japan: whaling, WWII, education system, etc. So Japan isn’t that different from China is it. The truth is the truth.

22 ( +26 / -4 )

However, on the other side of the fence, a large number of Japanese took offense to the ad, saying:

“Is Japan really such a country full of discrimination? It feels like you’re creating a false impression of Japan.”

“You’re crossing the line and making Japanese people look foolish.”

“I feel this depicts Japanese as being extremely inhumane.”

“It’s not just Japan – discrimination exists in other countries too.”

“There’s no bullying in Japan!”

“I won’t buy Nike ever again!”

Shows you that the right in Japan (including the too many in politics) share so much with the Trumper alt-right in America.

Here is the same thin-skinned defensiveness that will not tolerate the slightest criticism, denial, and what-about-ism -“It’s not just Japan – discrimination exists in other countries too.”

7 ( +17 / -10 )

Looks like a desperate effort by a shoe maker trying recover sales lost to the pandemic.

-39 ( +10 / -49 )

How about Nike do an ad that addresses slave labour in their sweatshop factories !?

5 ( +26 / -21 )

@takara

you are definitely in the minority.

Most English ’teachers’ are employed because they ‘speak’ English (even that is debatable)

The majority certainly don’t have any qualifications.

-24 ( +13 / -37 )

Many, (most?) Japanese assume racism is only a thing that white people do. Ironically, the best thing the kids in that commercial can do if they want to excel is to flee Japan and live in the US, Canada, the UK, Australia or New Zealand. Just like Naomi Osaka and her Haitian-Japanese family did.

27 ( +33 / -6 )

All the downvotes this has received is proof everything in the commercial, and the themes behind making the commercial, are dead on target.

8 ( +20 / -12 )

I personally don't find the ad very offensive, though a bit boring and pointless.

A critical question is, can Nike continue to remain ethical, consist and committed to its "open-minded" position by making ads of similar storyline but about China? I doubt it. Instead, Nike is defending genocide camps in Uighur, lobbying against US sanctions (check a NYT report). Shameless hypocrite. Don't pretend to be socially responsible.

It is also a serious mistake to suppose that Japan is much easier to target (or tease) for own promotion.

-9 ( +13 / -22 )

During my long life here in Japan, I didnt feel any racism towards me.

If you are white generally there is no racism, I agree. There are some cultural differences then there is illiteracy which might cause friction here and there but never really racism.

The problematic areas addressed in the CM are real and there is plenty Japanese also white people can learn from it.

4 ( +14 / -10 )

My friend's kid is biracial Japanese and foreigner and a baseball player.The other kids have discriminated him and when his team wins,the opponent kids complain that his team won because there's a gaijin in the team despite him being born here and to Japanese parent.

But when he is chosen to join the major leagues in the U.S,the envy begins and they suddenly wan't to be associated with him.

30 ( +34 / -4 )

Are you surprised by the number of dislikes?

Never forget: Japan is a small asian island in the Pacific and its people do not like to be told by outsiders to change their ways. Simple as that. We foreigners cannot change Japan. We can teach and share some western values, at most. Never impose, or ask the japanese to change. This is the price for living in these islands, like it or not. This is not a white, christian nation, never forget.

-11 ( +11 / -22 )

Always deflecting. Blah blah does it too! Idiots. Same thing happened with the recent verdict about Ghosns treatment whilst in detention.

9 ( +13 / -4 )

so many Japanese tell us that racial discrimination isn't a big problem in Japan. As if they would know.

maybe this is a time to sit back and listen not try to defend what is indefensible to any degree.

Thanks Nike, this ad helps my kids feel 100% themselves. 100% whatever they feel like being.

f you are white generally there is no racism, I agree.

Really? That is naive. My white kids getting the stink eye from people who think that as students in a Japanese school uniform with a Japanese name they should dye their hair black. Getting called gaijin all the time and told that they won't understand Japanese culture like a real Japanese. What do you call that? Random weirdness based on something other than their race? If they weren't good at sport and having the confidence it brings I'd be really fearful for them.

15 ( +19 / -4 )

finally rich

right you are...

and you can always leave and go home when you had enough.

but there is nothing bad in adressing problems and asking to be treated as human being and your children too. 21 century like it or not. More gaijins coming like it or not. Carpeting problems won't work anymore. Dialog will become only possible way.

5 ( +12 / -7 )

Last I heard Nike were still using child labor in sweatshops to make their products or have they moved on and now pay two dollars a day to their workers

0 ( +16 / -16 )

While the ad is timely and needed it is past time for Nike to close their plants in Xianjiang Provence, China and end using Uighur slave labor.

Then and only then will I take Nike seriously on human rights.

0 ( +13 / -13 )

Who died and made Nike a human rights NGO?

I thought they were a shoe brand.

This is a fair point and I'm sure the main reason for making the advert is to try and improve Nike's image. However, they have a far bigger reach than any NGO and this ad will be seen by lots of people who have probably never thought about the issues before. The motive may not be pure but hopefully it will result in a little more understanding and acceptance for mixed race kids and kids of Korean descent. I'm glad its out there.

11 ( +13 / -2 )

“Is Japan really such a country full of discrimination? It feels like you’re creating a false impression of Japan.”

“You’re crossing the line and making Japanese people look foolish.”

Actually your post AND the post previous to yours does.

“I feel this depicts Japanese as being extremely inhumane.”

“It’s not just Japan – discrimination exists in other countries too.”

“There’s no bullying in Japan!”

As do the 3 after yours...

Shows you that the right in Japan (including the too many in politics) share so much with the Trumper alt-right in America.

Its more than that. There is a concrete connection between the 2. Check out the below article.

White supremacists and Japan: A love story | The Japan Times

Here is the same thin-skinned defensiveness that will not tolerate the slightest criticism, denial, and what-about-ism -“It’s not just Japan – discrimination exists in other countries too.”

Exactly! As if 2 wrongs make a right. But the difference is this- In the west, discrimination is looked down on as being backward and stupid. There are concrete actions being taken to curb it, AND there is a CONVERSATION and a kind of self reflection 反省 that exists in the west that Japan is completely devoid of.

13 ( +19 / -6 )

“It’s not just Japan – discrimination exists in other countries too.”

These comments always get me, like it's a legitimate justification for behavior.

My mother always told me "I don't care what classmate's name does. You know better. Don't compare yourself to others to justify your bad behavior / poor grades / etc... You are responsible for you. Don't do something just because it is acceptable to others."

After hearing that all my life, it really ticks me off to hear/read people passing the buck like that.

16 ( +20 / -4 )

"Last year, they got the conversation going around all the annoying questions tennis star Naomi Osaka has to deal with surrounding her ethnicity, "

I think professional journalists should be objective when reporting a story like this one. Hence, adjectives such as "annoying questions" cannot be used. The job of the journalist is to just report news, his opinion does not matter. Whether these questions are actually "annoying" or not should be left to the judgment of the reader.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

tooheysnew

i may be but you do not have information about your education and certification written on your forehead. Most of companies won't hire you without certification at least for English Teaching. Plenty may of course.

but are you suggesting that it's okay for kids to be disrespectful towards adults? I don't think so.

having licence or not doesn't mean that you can be call by names etc. It's about fellow human being and position adult and teacher.

12 ( +15 / -3 )

I gave it a dislike, I'm an Adidas man myself.

-15 ( +11 / -26 )

and you can always leave and go home when you had enough.

but there is nothing bad in adressing problems and asking to be treated as human being and your children too. 21 century like it or not. More gaijins coming like it or not. Carpeting problems won't work anymore. Dialog will become only possible way.

Or becoming your own boss to avoid all the bs that runs in a work environment with japanese people, where foreigners have no voice at all. Remember, the change has to start from within. Japanese people are traumatized enough of being told by white people how to run their own country (the only occasions it worked were by force), hence they are very defensive when told something is wrong with them by other foreigners.

Besides, Japan is just another asian nation, travelling around Asia broadens your perspectives on Japan.

What you see here are purely asians in white man's clothes and nothing else. Don't expect them to have the same compassion and midset we share in the west. Let the change start from within.

5 ( +11 / -6 )

Nice ad. But need to get to the root of problem. Japanese Parents... As Japanese Workplaces are just as bad, if not worse. I think Japan cant handle diversity. Never has and never will.

9 ( +13 / -4 )

To regain public trust or prove integrity, why not Nike making another version, "based on real life experience"? It must feature an Uighur girl from re-education camp, Tibetan and Mongolian students being forced to learn Chinese (banned from using their mother tongue in public places). Then they somehow get out of life-threatening hardship and make success in sport!

China is a much bigger, more lucrative market for Nike products; thanks to its "awareness" campaign, the vast majority Han Chinese would suddenly acknowledge their homeland problem of interethnic relations (and authoritarian politics, not to mention), yet still feel like buying more Nike brands :) Sounds odd, but this is exactly how their logic and promotion strategy are going with regard to Japan, no? :P

-5 ( +7 / -12 )

Very good on Nike to point the attention to a problem that many people in Japan and in their society in general tend to deny,racism unfortunately is something that we can find in almost every society and in several degrees.

The best way to improve our society and human values is to start to recognize and acknowledge such issues which is already a good first step.

But denying and avoiding this issue will only keep them in the dark age of ignorance and bigotry.

I want to try to read at the upvote and downvote numbers in a good light,even though sadly the majority of Japanese still get offended and denies that Japan has a big major problem related with racism and discrimination for the minority due to blind nationalism and years of self glorification propaganda on the other hand we have a strong minority which apparently is increasing that is recognizing this social plague called racism and wants to embrace just, equality and justice for their own country.

I think from these people which I guess are belonging generally speaking to a younger generation the anti-racism education should be aimed,and from them Japan maybe in the next 20 years can build a more humane and right society for themselves and for the people of different background,because diversity should be looked as a great positive point for a nation.

7 ( +11 / -4 )

no worries. most people supporting this and giving it likes are westerners. Either in US or living there. I don't believe japanese support this garbage. Nike should take their diversity cancer elsewhere, it has done nothing good for america or the EU.

-13 ( +7 / -20 )

This video made each and every person who clicked the dislike or like button think about this problem. Usually, only a small percentage of viewers click like or dislike so the video probably reached a pretty big audience.

This kind of bullying or discrimination is pretty common in Japan. It's going to take a long time to change this, so let's get started.

I also want to say the problem is not limited to Japan, it exists nearly everywhere.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Really? That is naive. My white kids getting the stink eye from people who think that as students in a Japanese school uniform with a Japanese name they should dye their hair black.

One reason I would never raise kids here. It's tantamount to child abuse, and all because the foreign parent wants to live in Japan instead of returning to their home country.

-15 ( +7 / -22 )

LOL, How typical of western company. Nike which is using slave labor pointing the finger at Japan. Nike, an American company, a country which is in the middle of race war, pointing the finger at Japan. Nike, which has said nothing about China, pointing the finger at Japan.

-10 ( +12 / -22 )

soooo the reaction to an add about bullying is to bully, fain outrage that the subject is spoken about? Something is wrong about this.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

It's a good ad and if it makes even a few kids think before they bully others because of their background and/or ow they look, then it's a success. Companies like Nike reach a huge audience of young people so good on them for spending some of their money on such campaigns. It's a small thing for a big company but can have a big impact on some people.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

@takara

but are you suggesting that it's okay for kids to be disrespectful towards adults?

-8 ( +3 / -11 )

My friend's kid is biracial Japanese and foreigner and a baseball player.The other kids have discriminated him and when his team wins,the opponent kids complain that his team won because there's a gaijin in the team despite him being born here and to Japanese parent.

A similar thing happens to biracial children who grow up speaking some English in their home, or even Japanese children who live abroad for a while. When they do well on an English exam, everyone says, "Of course, you did well. You speak English in your home." or "Well, you lived abroad, that's why." But when you make a mistake, it's the opposite. "Haha. I thought you knew English."

It's like you can't win no matter what you do.

14 ( +17 / -3 )

No, I’m saying that an ‘English teacher’ these days doesn’t have the same respect as they did 20 years ago, This is due to the drop in quality of teachers

-13 ( +3 / -16 )

Who died and made Nike a human rights NGO?

who died and made Japan human rights abuse free, every country has faults and every country should be called out for their faults including Japan, cant take the criticism then fix your faults

12 ( +17 / -5 )

"Addressing problems like bullying and racism in Japan isn’t a slur on the country — it’s a gentle prod towards improving society for everyone,"

and the prod is coming from a company that is using slave labour in china?

-7 ( +11 / -18 )

43,000 dislikes as of this morning. Very disappointing.

Indeed...but is it any wonder there are so many denialists on an island run by a backward /inward looking , denialist LDP oyajis?

11 ( +15 / -4 )

the experience of young foreign residents in Japan.

There's your problem, right there. Even this newspaper considers a child, born in Japan, attending a Japanese school, speaking Japanese, as somehow foreign.

10 ( +13 / -3 )

Nike endorses racism and oppression in the name of profits every day and use propaganda like this to pretend they are something they are not. Nike endorses people and individuals who believe police officers are pigs and should be executed. Nike never speaks out against discrimination against severely oppressed people in their fastest growing market - Communist China. They are playing a fraught game of selective outrage against easy targets like Japanese culture and white police officers. They will eventually be burned for the hypocritical games they play.

-4 ( +9 / -13 )

LOL, How typical of western company. Nike which is using slave labor pointing the finger at Japan. Nike, an American company, a country which is in the middle of race war, pointing the finger at Japan. Nike, which has said nothing about China, pointing the finger at Japan

You realize the ad was created by Japanese advertising / marketing staff don,t you?

Truth hurts huh.

9 ( +18 / -9 )

“Is Japan really such a country full of discrimination? It feels like you’re creating a false impression of Japan.”

“You’re crossing the line and making Japanese people look foolish.”

Denying, looking away is basically the very definition of JP culture unfortunately ...

Reality is a scifi concept in Japan in 2020 ...

8 ( +13 / -5 )

To those here pointing out that Nike,a westerner company is taking advantage from poor workers in third world country I ask this,where do you think the parts of your precious Sony devices are built,in Japan?

9 ( +16 / -7 )

The brand here is not relevant. It is good to bring up social issues, it is then up to the people to show maturity and address them, or at least start discussing them. Clearly too many in Japan aren't ready for that dialogue, it shows deep rooted aversion to non indigenous races in too large a part of this country's people. Our task is and must be to point this out every single time we feel we should to. Denial is easy to show in public, but when alone facing a mirror, there is no longer denial, the truth comes staring at you. Nationalists, rigorous right wing supporters, blatant racists must know that Japan cannot longer hide behind fake smiles and bows. The world is starting to know what many of these people and too many of these politicians are like. It's thanks to individuals like us here and adverts like this, that things can improve. Equality, respect for all, inclusion are values that prescind from the geographical allocation of a land. Cultures can and must evolve. Being Asian or Western does not mean having reached the ultimate, sublime level of perfection in society structuring and values. Everyone can and must improve. Those who fail to recognize this country have a racism issues are the very ones who must do something about it first !

9 ( +13 / -4 )

80% of the negative comments in japanese on YT are related to the supposedly North Korean school shown in the video. Indeed, Japan doesnt need to be lectured about human rights by communists.

-8 ( +9 / -17 )

"... While Nike does not directly source products from the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region (XUAR), and does not have relationships with the Haoyuanpeng Clothing Manufacturing, Qingdao Jifa Group, or Esquel facilities in XUAR, we have been conducting ongoing diligence with our suppliers in China to identify and assess potential risks related to employment of people from XUAR."

https://www.business-humanrights.org/en/latest-news/nikes-response/

"83 major brands implicated in report on forced labour of ethnic minorities from Xinjiang assigned to factories across provinces; Includes company responses"

https://www.business-humanrights.org/en/latest-news/china-83-major-brands-implicated-in-report-on-forced-labour-of-ethnic-minorities-from-xinjiang-assigned-to-factories-across-provinces-includes-company-responses/

6 ( +8 / -2 )

To all the "but what about..." responses, this was an advert by Nike Japan. That's why it focuses on Japan.

7 ( +12 / -5 )

tooheysnew

but I wasn't talking about English Teachers at all. You can teach plenty thing in Japan even foreigner.

gaijin is not equal to English teacher.

even if you wanna make it about not certificated English teacher. I don't think they deserve to be mistreated because they don't have licence. That's ridiculous. They are adults after all and put by autority in the position "teacher"

10 ( +12 / -2 )

43,000 dislikes as of this morning. Very disappointing.

Social media are a magnet for keyboard warriors and shouty people. They are not representative of the wider public.

I have a gripe about it the advert, but my problem is that it is suggesting all bullied kids need to do is excel at sports and their problems will go away. It is similar to the Karate Kid fantasy that you just need to learn martial arts and hit the biggest bully a few times to change the pecking order. The bullying victim is directly or indirectly blamed for not proactively confronting the bullying. People or a prevailing culture who enable the bullying get off scot free.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

“Is Japan really such a country full of discrimination? It feels like you’re creating a false impression of Japan.”

This statement is made by a person who has either never lived in Japan or has been shielded from regular life in Japan or is VERY lucky to be living in a part of Japan where this does not occur and I would sure like to know where that is.

9 ( +14 / -5 )

tooheysnew

@takara

you are definitely in the minority.

Most English ’teachers’ are employed because they ‘speak’ English (even that is debatable)

The majority certainly don’t have any qualifications.

I most certainly do.

Link please, supporting this assertion. Or if not, get the proverbial outta here.

9 ( +13 / -4 )

P. SmithToday  06:42 am JST

A very salient ad for Japan. Remember: Just because we are pointing out an aspect of jaoanese society that is in desperate need of improvement, it does not mean we are bashing Japan, don’t like Japan, or trying to make Japan look bad.

I agree. However for those of us who are not Japanese (which is basically everybody) our own countries have examples of racism and bigotry that dwarf those in Japan. Which makes us hypocrites and therefore "bashing Japan". It's up to the Japanese to resolve their own problem in this regard and I applaud Nike's ad.

-12 ( +9 / -21 )

Although the ad is not a big thing, I think that those who dislike the ad dislike hypocrisy of Nike. They consider Nike touched the sensitive matter for its sales promotion. However, if Nike makes the ad of Chinese bulling to Hong Kong, Mongolia, Uighur and Tibet, they will know Nike is not a hypocrisy company.

3 ( +9 / -6 )

Really? That is naive. My white kids getting the stink eye from people who think that as students in a Japanese school uniform with a Japanese name they should dye their hair black. Getting called gaijin all the time and told that they won't understand Japanese culture like a real Japanese. What do you call that? Random weirdness based on something other than their race? If they weren't good at sport and having the confidence it brings I'd be really fearful for them

Sorry , you are right . I shouldn't be generalising like that. It might have been unprovoked racism. Neither me nor my children, and this is in central Tokyo, have ever experienced anything of the sort

I am also sorry for what is happening to your children in the Japanese school. Indeed I have heard about this too and hope things will change and soon.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

However for those of us who are not Japanese (which is basically everybody) our own countries have examples of racism and bigotry that dwarf those in Japan.

Really? Which countries do you have in mind?

7 ( +11 / -4 )

this is about helping Japan see its opportunities and change for the better, bravo.

If Japan wants to be on the world stage it better be able to look at itself in the mirror. (And handle metaphors)

3 ( +8 / -5 )

"Social media are a magnet for keyboard warriors and shouty people. They are not representative of the wider public."

And neither are the likes on the comments above on this website or youtube.

How about do a poll or only count the likes in JAPAN ONLY to see the real representatives. Exclude foreigners in japan as well.

This is exactly what nike does best, cater to minority garbage. Just like that "toxic masculinity" trash. How well did that go?

-4 ( +8 / -12 )

Very powerful commercial Ad.

I think they purposely chosen two "non-white" multiracial girls on this Ad subtly implies a more sensitive message as well.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

The level of denial and anger generated by pointing out a truth shows just how big the problem is here.

5 ( +11 / -6 )

Japanese people are much less racism issue than the others like USA. But it does’nt means to avoid of mention it.

-7 ( +7 / -14 )

Bullying doesn't always have to be verbal. Can also be through isolation too. I have 3 children who go to a club outside school. Majority of other kids at the club come from the same school which is different from my children. The boys in the club, ignore my children. This can be just as bad as verbal bullying.

8 ( +12 / -4 )

Nike - Social Justice Warriors who use slave labour in China, the poster child for oppression and discrimination against ethnic and religious groups.

"Made in China by Uighurs in camps".

0 ( +13 / -13 )

Racism does exist, in Japan or not.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Discrimination and racism is rife in Japan dont think a Nike commercial is going to change that.

3 ( +9 / -6 )

If Nike was so concerned about human rights, why are they pushing back against a bill to limit slave labor in China?

2 ( +9 / -7 )

The level of denial and anger generated by pointing out a truth shows just how big the problem is here

Spot on!

2 ( +8 / -6 )

Racism inJapan. An endless story.

I've stopped paying attention to this issue ages ago. just do my job, never taught my Japanese colleagues any new ideas. saved money, invest smartly. Someday I'll leave Japanand racism will be behind me.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

Raising two little kids here who are Japanese nationals but have light colored hair and western looking facial features I do appreciate this.

There is a huge difference in the experience of people like me - long term foreign residents who came here as adults, and people like my kids for whom this country is home. In almost 20 years here I've never been too bothered by the "outsider" treatment I get since its not usually too "in your face" and its easy for me to ignore it or even use it to my benefit most of the time. Plus being an adult I was already mature enough when I first experienced it to not let it bother me.

But when you have kids whose wellbeing you constantly worry about, these little things that didn't used to bother you when they happened to you suddenly take on a whole new meaning. My wife was nearly in tears the other day after some neighborhood mom came up to her in the supermarket with a smile on her face and said "Hi, I remember seeing you in the park the other day, with your strange (hen) looking boy."

That is a real danger. This idiot wasn't intentionally trying to insult my son or act with any malice, she was just thought it was perfectly OK to make comments like that about someone's child because that child doesn't look Japanese. And there are a lot of people out there like that. And my kids have to deal with that crap while they are still kids. It drives me nuts.

7 ( +12 / -5 )

Justin ShepherdToday  08:52 am JST

no worries. most people supporting this and giving it likes are westerners. Either in US or living there. I don't believe japanese support this garbage. Nike should take their diversity cancer elsewhere, it has done nothing good for america or the EU.

Yeah, tell that to the Ainu, Apache, Mayans, Cherokee, Polynesians, Taino, South Africans and the rest who've been decimated by certain groups' "diversity cancer." Also, are you going to ''go back where you came from, then?"

1 ( +8 / -7 )

Nike is no Mother Theresa to preach Japan. I wonder who will make a commercial about numerous Nike scandals.

https://www.themds.com/companies/nike-and-its-scandals-how-to-remain-valuable-after-a-year-full-of-polemics.html

0 ( +9 / -9 )

Ironic how Japanese the phrase "Maybe I should stand out a little less", is...

4 ( +7 / -3 )

This is a wonderful ad, and hits home about a serious problem. I don't think racism is as outright in Japan as it is in other nations, especially with regard to violence, when it comes to adults in open public, but I know first hand how it affects children, and of course it is rampant here in more subtle ways.

Anyone complaining with this ad... well, we know full well that your REAL problem is.

5 ( +12 / -7 )

This thread actually proof of it being a problem. Outrage! that Japan is racist, more outrage that others see it. Guess when you are told it's a beautiful Japan any comment otherwise is taken personally....not going to fix anything with that attitude.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

Get stuffed Nike, you foul, cynical hypocrites. Go and peddle your race-baiting CMs in China or the Middle East, not just easy targets like mild-mannered Japan or middle class white people. But you wouldn't dare would you, Nike? Because you know that unlike mild-mannered Japan and white people, those other countries and regions would fight back hard and you are scared of that reaction.

Nike - Just Do One

-3 ( +12 / -15 )

“Is Japan really such a country full of discrimination? It feels like you’re creating a false impression of Japan.”

“You’re crossing the line and making Japanese people look foolish.”

“I feel this depicts Japanese as being extremely inhumane.”

“It’s not just Japan – discrimination exists in other countries too.”

“There’s no bullying in Japan!”

“I won’t buy Nike ever again!”

All from people who refuse to accept that Japan is full of discrimination towards anyone who isn't Japanese.

Need an apartment? Not so easy! The amount of hurdles me as a foreigner had to go through, till someone had to rent the place for me and I just give them the money.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

Why can't the journalists convey the information correctly?

This issue is NOT about Naomi/Skin color.

The issue is NIKE voluntarily contact North Korean organization, "朝鮮総連", and used girls for AD "YouCantStopUs" and portraited as an innocent victims of bully in Japan.

You should know, these Korean descendant girls/parents refused to go to Japanese/South Korean school in Japan, but North Korean school (not authorized as a legitimate school by Japanese government) worshipping a dictator Kim in class killing its people and starving to death and abducted Japanese/South Korean people.

Worst thing is NIKE mixed this North Korea issue with BlackLivesMatter as if they were at same level.

-9 ( +11 / -20 )

Whatever Nike says, I beleive the opposite.

-4 ( +11 / -15 )

Maybe we are just lucky but my kids play in the park everyday with a group that includes a girl who is basically a boy, a learning disabled child and my biracial son.

None of the kids care about any of this and are oblivious to putting people in categories.

Unfortunately stereotyping is an adult problem, that's what nike has gotten wrong.

4 ( +12 / -8 )

Haters will always deny racism, they attacked the Kaepernick ad 2 years ago, they will attack this now.

It shows not only courage from Nike but good marketing skills, their sales went up after the Kaepernick ad, they will go up now.

I know what which sneakers I am buying next!!!

0 ( +11 / -11 )

STEVE

The boys in the club, ignore my children. This can be just as bad as verbal bullying.

Change clubs if after speaking to the coaches nothing chnges. These boys are just lacking proper leadership.

Sounds like the adults are neglectful.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

No, I’m saying that an ‘English teacher’ these days doesn’t have the same respect as they did 20 years ago,

That's true. 20 years ago you had to be a native english speaker to be a teacher. Now anyone can do this job. You don't have to be a native speaker.

This is due to the drop in quality of teachers

Which in turn is due to the quality of salaries. Most of the teachers today are third world trophy wives of Japanese men who are just looking to make extra money for fun and want to be called english teachers.

half the ALTs I know never graduated high school, let alone have any teaching qualifications.

So just a few questions for you-

How many ALTs do you know approximately? And are half the ALTs you know trophy wives of Japanese men? Unless that is the case, what you said is impossible given that they couldn't get a visa to live and work here UNLESS they graduated from a 4 year institution. I should know. I worked in the head office of a Hakken Gaisha for a couple of years which is why I'm very curious to discuss this more with you.

5 ( +10 / -5 )

Worst thing is NIKE mixed this North Korea issue with BlackLivesMatter as if they were at same level

How many black North Korean kids are there in Japan? You are deflecting from the larger issue which is worldwide discrimination based on a variety of factors. That includes but does not just mean Japan.

2 ( +9 / -7 )

I'm not the biggest NIKE fan, but I did think the advertisement was done well.

and how about those comments.........

“Is Japan really such a country full of discrimination? It feels like you’re creating a false impression of Japan.”

Yes

“You’re crossing the line and making Japanese people look foolish.”

Well.............REALITY can hurt I guess.

“I feel this depicts Japanese as being extremely inhumane.”

Inhumane isn't the right word, but ignorant works.

“It’s not just Japan – discrimination exists in other countries too.”

Sure, but that doesn't make it ok.

It's funny they concentrate on that point, but when it comes to giving foreigners rights, doing things in Japan "because that's how it's always been" or competing with other companies in the world, that's when people like that refuse to recognize the outside world.

“There’s no bullying in Japan!”

And there's no manga or sushi either..........

And before the "thumbs down" comes in, my heritage is 100% Japanese, yet I wasn't born or raised here. My name, face and family have all originated from Japan. Yet I am not considered "Japanese."

It's not a problem for me, at all. It's just one of those things that make you go hmmmmmmmm.

9 ( +13 / -4 )

I've stopped paying attention to this issue ages ago. just do my job, never taught my Japanese colleagues any new ideas. saved money, invest smartly. Someday I'll leave Japanand racism will be behind me.

I’ve got some sympathy for this There is part of me which says ‘What did you expect?’ when living in a country notorious for xenophobia. Maybe some didn’t do their homework before coming here.

That said, kids are a different matter. They can’t just up and leave.

9 ( +12 / -3 )

Haters will always deny racism, they attacked the Kaepernick ad 2 years ago, they will attack this now.

Kaepernik stated that he does not respect his country, wore socks with coos depicted as pigs, and frequently makes anti -white statements. Who is the hater? Yeah - Nike too.

-9 ( +8 / -17 )

I am sure that the vast majority of Japan-bashers here have no experience of raising children in mixed family in Japan, let alone doing the same abroad.

On the other hand, I have done both, with two kids attending Japanese high and junior high school now, and have first-hand knowledge how minor racism is compared with similar experience in other countries.

-9 ( +6 / -15 )

@BanditToday  01:53 pm JST

I am sure that the vast majority of Japan-bashers here have no experience of raising children in mixed family in Japan, let alone doing the same abroad.

On the other hand, I have done both, with two kids attending Japanese high and junior high school now, and have first-hand knowledge how minor racism is compared with similar experience in other countries.

I did and I definitely don't agree that racism in Japanese schools are minor comparing to UAE and Turkey.

Anyways, can I ask you in how many countries you raised your kids?

First-hand experiences can only make you capable to compare Japan with 1 or 2 more countries, you can't say Japan is better than other countries.

From your methodology, I can understand that you are Japanese, and this is an another pattern of racism: classical comparison of wareware nihonjin vs rest of the world.

3 ( +9 / -6 )

@aly

your first two points are spot on.

Personally, I know about 20 teachers at my local city council.

Maybe a third are trophy wives.

The others are all guys who either married their Japanese wives in their home countries, then came here, or they came here on a working holiday visa & ended up marrying local ladies.

So they’ve all got spouse visas.

Not all of them went to University, & some of those that did, education wasn’t their major.

A couple got their ‘degrees’ on a Bangkok street corner, for ten bucks.

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

aly

pardon me but what quality you are talking about being native English SPEAKER doesn't equal being good English TEACHER. Many the best English teachers I've seen came from group non-natives because of benefit that they had to learn English as their second language so they understand better difficulty of learning English and are able to explain grammar better than person who is native and grammar comes naturally.

20years ago better quality? Really I didn't noticed that older Japanese folks are such a great English speakers...

7 ( +11 / -4 )

Maybe most Japanese people are not intentionally racist but have thinking of "them and us".

It confuses me when many non Japanese when discussing this, stick the Japanese word "gaijin" in the middle of an English sentence,

7 ( +10 / -3 )

Nike endorses racism and oppression in the name of profits every day and use propaganda like this to pretend they are something they are not. Nike endorses people and individuals who believe police officers are pigs and should be executed.

Any cites at all to backup either assertion?

4 ( +10 / -6 )

xtreme Anti-japanese sentiment shown , I hope japanese people stop buying Nike who abuses human rights in China. Japanese government should ban all anti-japanese propaganda organisations from operating inside the country.

-16 ( +6 / -22 )

Nike is generalizing all Japanese, so it is racist hatecrime against all of Japan and Nike should be banned from operating in Japan.

By the way Nike is in the forefront of child slave labour in all the poor countries and in China too.

-15 ( +7 / -22 )

This kind of discrimination is so normal in Japan they don't even realise they're doing it, which is probably why people have taken offence to this advert. I hear casual, baseless anti-Chinese or anti-Korean remarks from Japanese people I know who I wouldn't actually call racist, it's just that normal to Japanese and it's sad.

It isn't like the banter between English/French or whoever in Europe, it's quite nasty. This is something that Japanese people need to be more aware of which is why the truth hurts in this case. Also, I find Japanese people extremely sensitive to others discussing even the slightest negative point of Japan, they just immediately get shirty and think you're Japan bashing rather than trying to have an open conversation.

11 ( +14 / -3 )

Questioning the basis of racism in Japan in a meaningful way is not allowed even in universities courses related to examining Japan and its place in global relations administered by western expat administrators (eager to bow to their Japanese employers), so institutionalized are the biases. Hopefully people like Osaka can continue to blaze a trail which will illuminate the shortcomings of this type of mentality.

7 ( +11 / -4 )

Thinking about it, Japanese people are just so used to the 'Sugoi Nihon' national ego stroking tv shows, it probably explains their sensitivity to the slightest negative points.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

Its just a PR stunt for Nike. They wanted attention to their brand so they researched and workshopped what would irk and borderline insult - for maximum attention. Nothing more nothing less.

-1 ( +8 / -9 )

Being mature means being to say yes I was wrong. There are many debatable points. Racism and bullying is just two of them.

Nationalists of any country usually just dismiss anything is wrong or needs a debate.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

The others are all guys who either married their Japanese wives in their home countries, then came here, or they came here on a working holiday visa & ended up marrying local ladies.

How do you know that? See I've worked in a Hakken Gaisha and I can tell you that with the men, that's not correct. The women, yes. The men that are native speakers (in my experience) have all had degrees. What has been happening is that all the foreigners come here on Legit Visas and marry and get good at Japanese and then end up doing other things

So they’ve all got spouse visas.

Most have PR. And most are not native english speakers. Most of those are still in Japan but doing other things.

Not all of them went to University, & some of those that did, education wasn’t their major.

If you want native english speakers with teaching degrees to come here you are going to have to pay them decent salaries. No native teacher is going to come here to be an ALT for 200,000 yen a month. Forget it

A couple got their ‘degrees’ on a Bangkok street corner, for ten bucks.

Can we please stick to facts and not some ridiculous claim that has no basis in fact please?

3 ( +7 / -4 )

aly

pardon me but what quality you are talking about being native English SPEAKER doesn't equal being good English TEACHER.

With regards to the roles that are assigned to them HERE in Japan, unfortunately, the two are intertwined.

Many the best English teachers I've seen came from group non-natives because of benefit that they had to learn English as their second language so they understand better difficulty of learning English and are able to explain grammar better than person who is native and grammar comes naturally.

Your argument would be correct IF the teacher and the students share the same first language as they would be better at understanding why the students make that mistake. But if the teacher's language of origin and the students' is different explaining is difficult because the teacher doesn't always recognize the patterns of mistake and why the students make them.

20years ago better quality? Really I didn't noticed that older Japanese folks are such a great English speakers...

That's on the Japanese. They took studying English as a hobby- no different from going to the gym. Can't blame the english teachers for that

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Back on topic please.

OssanAmerica: "However for those of us who are not Japanese (which is basically everybody) our own countries have examples of racism and bigotry that dwarf those in Japan. Which makes us hypocrites and therefore "bashing Japan""

Ah, the old "but" argument, basically agreeing completely through complicity that Japan is racist, and suggesting that you canNOT argue against Japan's racism if you are not Japanese (which is racist in and of itself). By your own logic, you shouldn't even have an opinion on the matter, should you?

If you want dialogue, constructive suggestions, and change, you should be open not only to the "yes-men" of Yamato blood, but the people who live, work, and even have children of mixed background who actually SUFFER this racism be part of said dialogue. You have said "If you are not pure Japanese, you have no voice on the issue".

8 ( +13 / -5 )

Nike is generalizing all Japanese, so it is racist hatecrime against all of Japan and Nike should be banned from operating in Japan.

Nike is not saying that all Japanese are bullies, just that it’s a problem in Japan. This means Nike isn’t generalizing all Japanese, and it certainly is not committing a hate crime.

By the way Nike is in the forefront of child slave labour in all the poor countries and in China too.

This is demonstrably false:

*Yet NIKE owns no factories for manufacturing** its footwear and apparel, which make up ~88% of its revenues. Instead, manufacturing is outsourced to third parties because of the cost advantages of doing so. *

https://www.google.com/amp/s/finance.yahoo.com/amphtml/news/overview-nike-supply-chain-manufacturing-130048337.html

2 ( +7 / -5 )

An ad of creating more awareness, empathy and care for others, while creating a vision of a brighter future for children.

People who refuse to see the message because of certain bias and lack of open mindedness are part of the problem. Anyone who truly cares about bullying and racism would not and could not see this ad wrong.

Whether they see Nike as a negative, is irrelevant to the message, as well. To lock into hating the messenger and ignoring the message is not what should be happening here, at all.

Japan truly needs to watch such ads and learn, instead of ignoring it and getting defensive.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

Seems to me that the ad just says, "be mixed race in Japan and get bullied. Be mixed race in Japan, get good at sports, and don't get bullied anymore".

What about the mixed race kids who suck at sports??

2 ( +10 / -8 )

@RickyC

My children went to school in England for one year, and had lots of negative episodes because they are half-Japanese.

But my point is not how many countries you may have for comparison; instead, it is whether the majority of active commentators here has any first-hand experience rising kids in Japan. It bet that very few actually know what they are talking about.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

Tis a Delicate subject NIKE delved into, discrimination is a norm in japan unfortunately, Japanese even discriminate against Japanese whose parents gave them a western name! Because you can't write the name in KANJI how petty is that?

Your either 100% japanese or not, there is no acceptance of being part japanese tis really a shame! Such an advanced country desperately seeking to be accepted by western countries yet discrimination is a social norm! Yet in the same breathe they want foreign business to set up shop here in japan? Foreigners arrive are discriminated against given a hard time sometimes physically assaulted, the foreigner defends themselves for not being japanese and they get tossed in jail because the J police will protect the 100% japanese citizen who is wrong to begin with (drank to much). The shameful thing is the Japanese government invited that foreigner to this country promising acceptance and prosperity on equal footing but delivering on nothing except harassment in a japanese jail for a confession saying they were essentially wrong for being a foreigner in Japan.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

My children went to school in England for one year, and had lots of negative episodes because they are half-Japanese.

I am so suprised and sad to hear that. Maybe the negativity is that the ghosts of WW2 still lurk beneath even now.

When I was a child in England (many years) we talked about it.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

P. Smith: Nike is not saying that all Japanese are bullies, just that it’s a problem in Japan. This means Nike isn’t generalizing all Japanese, and it certainly is not committing a hate crime.

Who in the ad is Nike targeting as racist and bigots? The average Japanese that’s who. The mixed race people are being glamorized and the typical Japanese kid is bad outright if not by inference. That’s why there is a negative reaction from so many. You really can’t see that broad brush being used by Nike?

0 ( +4 / -4 )

when Japanese comedians joke about Naomi Osaka’s complexion being “too sunburned”

Well, comedians dont have to be funny to everyone or anyone on a joke, but that's their job to poke fun. Many in the states do so with trump and his orange complexion.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

I don't see mixed race people being "glamorized" here at all. I would suggest that interpretation is mostly in your own imagination. Perhaps you could expand a little more on why you see this as "glamorization", and that might make your position easier to understand.

It also seems a stretch to suggest the ad is painting all average Japanese people as bigoted. If you are to show minorities being bullied, then by definition there will be some portrayal of those who are causing the bullying them. This does not imply all Japanese people are bigots now, does it?

However, under the logic you present, we would never be able to highlight the bullying problems faced by minorities, since you could always employ the same counter-argument irrespective of the circumstances, namely that the perpetrators are being depicted in an unfairly bad light. Surely this logic applies consistently and would allows you to reject any attempt to address the topic on these same grounds. That is why, if we accepted your position, we find ourselves with a perfect recipe for sweeping unfair treatment of minorities under the rug, ensuring the problem never gets addressed and therefore never gets solved.

Another perspective worth baring in mind is this: under what circumstances is criticism, or indeed even simply reference to, Japan's treatment of minorities ever met with sincere introspection? The answer is pretty much never. Again, this is a recipe for prolonging problems by sweeping them under the rug. You want to make a case that this ad paints Japanese people in an unfairly bad light, but if you have been in Japan for sometime, it quickly becomes clear that any discussion at all on this topic raises hackles, no matter how it is presented or couched. That surely suggests the greater problem lies not with the source material but with the reaction to it, wouldn't you agree?

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Wow, that ad certainly got the conversation going

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Nike, you got a new customer!!!

Chapeau to this action.

1 ( +10 / -9 )

On the other side, an anti-bullying spot with only girls as main characters is again a very bullying one against all boys. Just to bring you a little bit down on earth again... lol

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

The message might be great and all but the messenger runs sweatshops in Vietnam and China. Let's ask the Uyghurs how they feel about Nike.

7 ( +11 / -4 )

I personally liked the commercial, but also realize there's a bit(to alot) of over dramatization in commercials in general. But it gets a good message across so why is there even any negative emotions about a freaking commercial.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Japanese are known not to confront controversy, they do not like to debate. They only like to do as other do and any foreigner outside that mono culture is a person who is out of place. I listened to Naomi's dad when he spoke about his daughter and why he brought his family to the US. People are quick to say she is Japanese because of her success in tennis, when a mixed raced women women Miss Japan the country said she doesn't have the face of Japan. When mixed race kids in Japan excel the country embrace the kid and it becomes national pride that is because the only thing they see on the athletes chest is the flag of the rising sun, they don't recognize the person. In Naomi's case alot of people said she chose to compete for Japan because she couldn't beat the americans, they were dead wrong. She was at the top of her game the top tennis player in the world, what more was she expected to do. She accepted the endorsements from Japan its business as usual. Its not the people who are behind the racism it has long been large corporation who fuel it. If you go to work its all around you. Racism is they say learned I say it was manufactured a long time ago. You can't blame Nike for the ad, because it was a JAPANESE PR firm who produced the ad. A lot of people are saying Nike picked on poor Japan, well SONY and Panasonic use slave labor to. Both large corporation, in Japan but its ok to look the other way. I guess the truth hurts, this must be something that needs to be talked about in Japan, and I saw this coming. You have Rui, you have Naomi, you have others who are internationally known they will not sit quite and not say nothing. The mixed kids in Japan are starting to out number those who are not 100% japanese. Sooner or later there will be a balance and their is nothing Japan can do except embrace it, or else become the minority. The truth hurts, you just can't sweep this under the carpet, racism is ugly at the expense of large corporations that use people to do it.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Ditto'ing some other comments... Yes, racism and bullying exist in all countries. No, we will never be totally rid of it. Yes, we can and are making improvements, thankfully. Discussion will move the needle forward; violence, such as that in the States, will move it backward.

I crossed Nike off my list when they adopted their boy Kaepernick as their spokesperson. Threw any nike wear I had in the trash, where it belongs.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Did anyone else notice the FOUL as soon as the ball was in play on the field?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Also, perhaps lost in translation / off on a tangent but the commercial touches on ideas that are not specific to bullying or experiences of being a foreigner (fitting in, finding your way / purpose, self worth, perseverance) so if anything everyone should have someway to relate and perhaps be empathetic of how racism / bullying could compound these issues in general unless they perceive that all of these issues don't exist either.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This video is all about the money and you're naive if you can't see through it. Do you think Nike cares about this actually? They don't, it's a gimmick. Irregardless of the content of the video, whether it's good or bad, I find it disturbing that big corporations feel the need to dictate to the public what morals they should have. Since I do not like to reward bad behavior, I swore off all purchases of Nike and Gillette products years ago. Apparently a lot of dumb people buy into this sort of thing so I guess it works to some degree.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Bullying and discrimination based on race, gender, sexual orientation need to be addressed and discussed just like any mature democracy. It's happen to even Japanese children what is more if you're different from the rest. Japan is no exception. As a democratic country you NEED to improve in order to move forward. But it's has to start from Japanese citizens themselves.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I think Nike needs to work on cleaning up there own house first. They should stick to there athletic apparel and sports related things. They just wanted to start trouble.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Great ad. That this is even a debate shows just how far Japan has to go to join the 20th century, let alone the 21st

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Timely and apposite. I admit to being a little conflicted by Nike's ads, given that they are made for self-serving purposes; however they do raise issues to national and international prominence which people often try to sweep under the carpet.

Racism and bullying are both serious problems in Japan - as they are in many parts of the world.

For those trying to deny this or to deflect criticism to Nike itself - facing up to the problem is the first step to fixing it.

Deal with it.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Boycott Nike!

Expect them to replace with these superior brands:

Asics Muzuno Onitsuka

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Also, is this "controversy" being talked about on terrestrial Japanese TV?

If not, then is just nothing but static noise (zawa zawa.....)

1 ( +3 / -2 )

@Wolfpack

The mixed race people are being glamorized

Did you watch the video? Do you know what glamourised means?

2 ( +4 / -2 )

“You’re crossing the line and making Japanese people look foolish.”

Well, when you cross the line and finish first, you leave everyone else behind! Including these haters! Keep on going,Nike! And just do it!

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

I like the message but I don’t like the messenger. Not just because I’m an Adidas guy ( can’t even remember when was the last time I bought something from Nike ), but for other reasons too. Also, what about those kids that are not into sports? And the bullying might actually get worse in some cases. It’s like the old classic of “ow you told your mommy huh?”. Kids can start saying things like: “Haha you think you’ll be the next Naomi”?/the next Rui?”. I’m not a fan of Nike, and as for this ad, I’m not impressed. Like I said: I like the message. I don’t like the messenger.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

It's putting the spotlight on something most foreigners who live in Japan know, and those who have mixed nationality kids know all too well, bullying and being singled out. are the people complaining Japanese by chance?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

All human beings are from the same race.

Ethnicity is a ridicule concept.

Cultural differences are a fact and must be respected as long as they respect differences.

Being able to accept diversity is the graal to experience a full human life.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

For those who are not familiar with Nike ads, Nike has been well-known for years for making social ads in the countries they're in. So don't act surprised. For example:

"A Brief History of Nike Using Advertising to Address Social Issues - It's nothing new for the brand"

https://www.adweek.com/agencies/a-brief-history-of-nike-using-advertising-to-address-social-issues/

Nike's first "Just Do It" spot in 1988 addressed ageism when it featured 80-year-old Bay Area icon Walter Stack, who ran approximately 62,000 miles in his lifetime.

A year later, the company advocated for people with disabilities in a spot starring Paralympian Craig Blanchette.

In 1993, an ad starring Charles Barkley sparked a conversation about whether celebrities and professional athletes should be held to higher standards. "I'm not paid to be a role model. I'm paid to wreak havoc on the basketball court," Barkley says in the ad.

Nike made a statement when a 1995 "Just Do It" ad featured openly gay, HIV-positive runner Ric Munoz. AIDS activists applauded Nike for the campaign.

In 1995, Nike tackled gender issues with its "If You Let Me Play" ad, which addressed the benefits of organized sports for girls. The ad featured young girls quoting statistics about the benefits of how sports can improve their lives.

Nike touched on gender issues again in 2012 with its "Voices" ad, which celebrated the 40th anniversary of Title IX.

Nike also released the "What Will They Say About You?" ad in 2017, which featured five Middle Eastern women pushing social norms to succeed in sports like boxing and skateboarding.

"Nike’s ‘You Can’t Stop Us’ ad clocks up 40 Million views"

https://www.famouscampaigns.com/2020/08/nikes-you-cant-stop-us-ad-clocks-up-40-million-views/

Nike’s latest ad is a stunning tribute to perseverance in the face of adversity and a tremendous piece video editing.

Featuring a split screen, the 90-second ad, titled You Can’t Stop Us, seamlessly combines over 70 sports clips.

The clips are spliced side-by-side to create the impression of a single shot – the ad ends with the words: ‘You can’t stop sport,’

It had been viewed more than 40 million times on YouTube with many commenters applauding its themes of collectivism, diversity and social justice.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Japan has some decisions to make about the future: Open up to the world and survive as a tier-1 global player, or shrink back into the poverty of the pre-20th century.

I think they've pretty much chosen the latter. In 2021, Japan will just be another small, poor Asian country.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

The ad. shows typical racism in school in Japan and it depicts a truth. I appreciate Nike’s courage to bring up this negative side of Japanese culture. I hope all the people take this opportunity to think of ijime (bullying) in Japan and also racism of the world.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

If racism and human rights are such an important issue for Nike then why don’t they campaign in China where both are rampant.

Right now Nike are literally lobbying the US government to stop legislation that will ban products made by slave labour in Xinjiang.

Nobody is denying that racism is an issue in Japan - as it is in all countries - but to be lectured by a company that actively profits from slave labour and openly avoids criticising one of the the worst human rights offenders in the world for fear of losing money is about the vilest, most hypocritical and jaw-droppingly cynical things imaginable.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

It is a shocking that Nike criticizes bullying in Japan while in the same time expands the business in China. If Nike would be honest about human rights and racism than it would first stop doing the business in China. How hypo critic !

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Bullying is one of the social phenomena and strongly related to Japanese culture and education. Therefore, I don’t think we can change it easily. However, this video suggests a great encouragement for those who’ve been bullied and I hope it suggests the hint to get out of the situation.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The commercial is controversial because one of the participants is real. And she goes to a North Korean school in Japan. This was confirmed not just by Japanese sources, but by South Korean news sources (Donga Ilbo) as well.

However, the Nike commercial hid this by filming her inside a regular Japanese school. Critics have complained that the discrimination scenario they created for the North Korean Zainichi is a fictional scenario, as records show the woman has never attended a Japanese school in her life (the ad depicts her being bullied in a Japanese school by Japanese classmates)

And in interviews, this woman has expressed interest in representing the North Korean national team, not Japan. North Korea is a brutal terrorist state and regime that tortures and imprisons and kills not its own people as well as those abroad and actively develops weapon of mass destruction like VX poison gas and nuclear ICBMs.

You can't be racist against "North Korean" because North Korean is not an ethnicity -- "Korean" is an ethnicity and culture. "North Korean" is a political ideology. Calling somebody racist against Koreans because they don't like North Koreans in Japan * is like calling somebody racist against Muslims because they don't like ISIS and Al Qaeda members. Until they were called out and exposed and busted by the media, these schools in Japan had pictures of tyrant and terrorist Kim Jong Il at the front of every classroom.

When parents enroll their kids in these North Korean schools, a portion of the tuition goes to Chongryon, which intelligence agencies believe launders money and sends to North Korea, which is then used to fund the evil regime's gulags, military, VX gas and atomic bomb and assassination squads, and pay for Kim Jong Un's brandy, cheese, and exotic cars. Chongryon opposes Koreans integrating into Japanese society.

For those that are unaware, Zainichi in Japan do have a choice if they wish to educate their child in a Korean environment: schools and institutions exist in Japan that are aligned with South Korea. The Japanese far right do not protest the South Korean schools.

Ironically, this commercial may be illegal to show in South Korea: in South Korea, it is illegal to publish anything that portrays North Korea in a positive light.

Unlike Koreans trapped in the DPRK, Koreans in Japan have a choice as to which government they align with.
1 ( +2 / -1 )

It"s so gratifying to know that a multi-billion dollar company run by money-grubbing parasites, which uses slave-labor to produce its products, really cares.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Wow. Controversy online? Who'd have thought...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Does anyone seriously think that Nike gives a hoot about social issues and would risk profits for the sake of promoting an unpopular cause? No, this is cherry-picking virtue-signaling.

Bernard Marx doesn't know what he's talking about when he insults people such as myself, accusing us of "child abuse" for bringing up children here in Japan. I have four grown children, all of whom have lived quite happily in Japan and have gone to Japanese schools. The eldest was at one time bullied--but for being a bookish nerd, not for being "haafu." Years ago Japanese ethnicists would argue that Japan is "homogeneous" and will never change. They were wrong.

The term "racism" refers to belief in the inherent superiority or inferiority of a given set of human beings, as defined mostly by history and culture, not by anything genetic. Few people are genuinely or consistently "racist" in that sense, certainly not the Japanese. Most all people are tribalistic and groupy. We cope--imperfectly--with such. America is currently going in a bad direction in that regard with its "identity politics." Japan has been moving in a much more positive direction, no thanks to the ideologically "woke" who love to complain.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

My response to this ad can be found in my response to Japan Expert, John Cates ... https://www.quora.com/Why-is-Japan-becoming-increasingly-right-wing/answer/John-Cate-2?comment_id=71594070&comment_type=2&filter=all&nsrc=1&sncid=10139714667&snid3=14655418386

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Nike will have my support.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Wonder what percentage of the viewers of the ad who complain there is no racism in Japan or, 'that isn't racism in the ad' are bi-racial people. Probably zero or close to it. As mentioned before, it is an effective ad because it has made people of all ages discuss it. Saw a segment on Japanese TV this morning about it, too, with a panel discussing it so the ad has definitely got people's attention.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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