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Ambassadors of Cute

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Ambassadors of Cute, from left: actress Shizuka Fujioka, Yu Kimura, center, and Misako Aoki pose during a news conference at the Foreign Ministry on Thursday. In a bid to raise its international profile, Tokyo has appointed these three young women as cultural envoys because they represent Japan's long-running craze for all things cute. Tsutomu Nakagawa, the head of the cultural affairs division, said their role will be to speak at cultural events such as a Japan Expo to be held in Paris in July.

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May Cute Buddha Bless These Cute Ambassadors from Cute Japan.

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This is the best they could come up with to speak at cultural events?

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They do not look cute to me - in fact they look rather fiendish - wouldn't want to meet them in any darkened location - a bit scary, I'd say.

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They are so adorable! I wish I could reach through my computer screen and give each of them a big hug.

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Best Cutists!

"they look rather fiendish"

Har!

Those are some serious dimples Shizuka has!

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young women

Is this relative? Or alternatively, do they have important fathers, husbands, or others that roped them into this role?

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God, this country is so sad

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after several liquid refreshments...maybe cute...

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"God, this country is so sad"...just relax and enjoy the ride....life is too short for such negativity

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They looked more zoned-out than cute. Maybe they've had too many liquid refreshments...

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Awwww, they are adorable!

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I'll take the one on the left.

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Japan may relish their samurai and military history, but this photo sums up modern Japan. Though they would have to have shambling clothes rotting from corruption somewhere under all that cute superficial covering to truly represent modern Japan.

Japan is probably the only place on earth where cute is an epidemic disease in dire need of a cure.

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The one on the left looks like Felix the cat.

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Should read "Ambassadors of kiddie-porn enthusiasts"

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I'll take the one on the left.

In the need of a scarecrow maybe? Please do...

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I'll take the one on the left.

bamboohat, you can have them all. I expect most of us will be shopping elsewhere.

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Ambassadors of Cute? Geez!

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Just wondering… If I put on a wig with bangs that interfered with my limited sight, wore something pink, and then tilted my head and smirked – would I be cute? Don't think so.

So what does it take to be cute that these three seem to be missing?

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Almost tragic.

They'd better not speak at the Expo, otherwise the total vacuity of the initiative will be all too apparent.

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Yech! I miss the bodycon days...

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Aaah, another epic failure of Japan's interaction with the gaikoku. These kids look horrendous, like someone zapped them with a Bad Taste Gun. Seriously, cosplay girl on the right is just nauseating, and Felix on the left looks like she was photoshopped to have a 30% wider head. Let's get a side on shot of her, please - maybe she was squeezed in a strange way with the caliper/forcep thingies during childbirth, and thus has a horizontally flattened head?

And is our girl in the centre wearing a pendant that reads 'lolita' ?

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Daisan: The girl on the left looks more like "Jar Jar Binks" to me... do search and compare the pics... its uncanny

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seriously, they look like 3 pomeranian(sp?) dogs. This is Tokyo, not Japan. I am so sick of Tokyo and all of its decrepidness being the posterchild to the world for Japanese culture. Try OSaka or Kobe for a change. Of course there is this fetish here too, but people are much more down to earth and in touch with reality. To all people reading this that do not live in Japan: This is Tokyo, not the whole country!!!!!

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Very disappointed again to know that even Foreign Ministry does not know anything what is cuteness. Apparently they are cute on Japanese porn industry.

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More like the Ambassadors of Stick-Your-Finger-Down-Your-Throat.

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hmmm but like what one guy said earlier, Tokyo (and not just the 3 cute girls in the picture) pretty much embodies modern Japan doesn't it? there are of course other beautiful aspects of it in the other areas of Japan, but I think Tokyo really shows how fast (and warped maybe) Japan is developing, socially, culturally, even economically...

cute ambassadors? haha it's only something Japan can think of and do, can't imagine other countries trying it out...like USA supermodel ambassadors or sth...think they should do something more complete though, the 'cuteness' is really just one SMALLL part of Japan today

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"The girl on the left looks more like Jar Jar Binks to me ( than Felix the Cat )"

She does not! She looks more like Felix the Cat than Jar Jar Binks.

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A news conference at the Foreign Ministry? We've got Korea with a missile ready to go next week, and our paid bureaucrats (I can't say "leaders", it would be disingenuous) are weeing away man-hours with this infantile shtick?

What is that thing with the mouth that the one on the right is doing? As if a vapid, thousand-yard stare doesn't make you look retarded enough, squint your lips like you're having a stroke and you'll get there.

The most irritating thing about this is that there will be thousands of perfectly-attractive girls dolling themselves up to look like this, squeaking and acting five years old, because some inadequate has decided women look better than this than in leather skirts and thigh-length boots.

Is it just me, or don't women look better when they're dressed like adults?

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I think this article should be linked with the other article on JT entitled "More Japanese shunning the outside world".

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What a waste of time, space and energy.

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I find the one on the left and the one on the right very ugly ... almost scary.

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That's uncanny, I was thinking Jar Jar Binks as well... "cute" is not the first word I'd think of to describe Shizuka, no would the word "shizuka" describe Jar Jar Binks..."mendokusai" perhaps

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"I find the one on the left and the one on the right very ugly"

Gosh, kurisutofu, I'd hate to hear what you'd say about... never mind.

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couple of points...

-The Foreign Ministry needs to lay off the booze.

-In Japan, why does "cute" have to mean looking/acting so infantile? Surely mature, attractive, cute 27 year old Japanese women would be better for this sort of thing.

-If these girls appear/speak internationally they will do more harm than good.

-If the mission is to "raise its international profile" is this really the best they could do? A high school girl, a maid and a plastic "lolita" necklace?

-How about something related to Japanese art, history, gaming, kabuki, shodo, anime, technology, music, language, kendo etc????

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oh nooo...I think I might actually like the left one...felix the cat! haha nice dimples

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The Dark Crystal

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"I was thinking Jar Jar Binks as well"

That's some wild imagination you three have got there. Jar Jar Binks is grotesque. Shizuka is not in the least grotesque.

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I wonder what they'll talk about at the expo? probably just a high pitched shrill

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"If I only had a brain....."

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Oh Man...I think I have been living here too long...I actually find these three pretty hot...HELP ME!

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yes, yes, aaaand ... yes. :)

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I am beginning to see why this country is in the can.

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Tsutomu Nakagawa, the head of the cultural affairs division, said their role will be to speak at cultural events such as a Japan Expo to be held in Paris in July.

What? Anymore insane ideas...to pass my time on this quiet Friday 13th at work.....

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Ambassadors of Cute? Why didn't I think of that?

I see Felix the Cat types around a lot. They are OK by me. Nice hair. NOT that awful brown. The one on the right looks like she's been dipped in Judy Garland Land circa 1953. Still cute, but nauseating. The one in the middle, Mz. Lolita Benjamin Bunny is drop dead frightening. Not cute at all.

But, give me a few more years here and my opinion may have changed...

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I suspect that this cute movement is simply a reflection of the adolescent desires of old geezers, with the insecure nits too dumb to know they are being had.

OK – so the message for foreign geezers is – come to Japan to enjoy our less than mature culture. Smart.

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I'll go :D

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for the first time in my life, i am starting to see things from the Taliban's point of view. This is truly a sign of the Apocolypse.

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these are dolls in reality.wish i can ve one on my bed......kawaiiiii

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We have all seen them around, so the shock etcv is overdone. But as "ambassadors" of one type or another? Plus, not one of them is a looker. Alright if you want a spas for a girl/plaything/whatever, but definitely nothing more.

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Are those eyes for real, is it just the magic of make up or surgery? I know it's a very common thing even among kids.

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butt ugly

Moderator: Readers, there is no need to insult these three young ladies. You only make yourselves look bad when you do that.

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terrible clothes. why cute is associated with old accessories and things that look like they've been in the closet for years, they might smell like mothballs

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this whole thing does rather shout to the world "look how shallow our culture is". this is the problem with japan; you can have stuffy traditional culture, or plastic popular culture. would be wonderful if they could combine the two into something that is dynamic, modern but still meaningful and unquestionably japanese. seems unlikely

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Halloween Already ? 10 or 15 years from now, this fashion will be gone and DONE.

I can't wait. Because dressing up like a school girl is not cool. I used to be in a Private School in America. And believe me I "hated" my school uniform.

Only nerdy, pervs, or weird people would be interested in wearing a high school girl uniform. It's cool in the bedroom. But not out in public. Unless it is Halloween.

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daisan at 01:01 PM JST - 13th March Are those eyes for real, is it just the magic of make up or surgery? I know it's a very common thing even among kids.

LOL! You have a gift for overstatement. Yeah, very common among kids! Like scraped knees!

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this whole thing does rather shout to the world "look how shallow our culture is".

I guess it depends upon what the message is. Some Japanese fashion is unique and bizarre, if not cute, like the Lolita look. It could be a stab at saying that Japanese kids are not all conformist, suicidal, studying robots (as portrayed in the West).

It could also be an attempt at projecting soft power with a non-threatening image. I suppose they could send out Samurai and soldiers dressed in 1930's uniforms, but that probably project a negative image, as would Geisha's.

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I'd certainly engage the 3 of them in some diplomacy.

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I knew you guys will have a field day with this one.

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I think that when the gob mess with the culture, they screw up things. Is like a car designed by a committe. In paper the teory is right, but i the reality is a mediocre result.

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The young ladies put themselves out for ridicule with those vapid and vacant expressions. Unfortunately, that 'cute' look has spread like a contagion throughout Asia.

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Having women dress up in School girls uniforms doesnt exactly send the right image of Japan, unless Japan wants to portray the image that it is ever so twisted, which of course, it is. National symbol is a woman in in High school uniform, what a ridiculous country, i want nothing to do with this place, im off!!

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The economy is failing, the environment is ruined, time to break out the "Ambassadors of Cute"!!

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Gosh, if these three ducks are thought cute, I wonder the ones that aren´t.

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Geez, some people are fuddy-duddys around here. These girls are undeniably cute. It's not supposed to be an erokawaii look, just cute.

And I don't think anyone is making a statement that "This is all there is to Japanese culture." It's just a fun, popular look that has spread beyond Japan's borders. I personally wouldn't want to date a woman who dressed like that, but that's not the point, is it?

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Pawatan - the point, I think, is the fact that this bollox is what the Government is spending our tax money on, rather than getting the country into some semblance of functionality - and in a few weeks they'll be bleating about how regrettable it is that there is no choice but to increase the consumption tax and bleed more money out of us.

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I know how to fix this "cute" problem. Make a movie with these three being the most evil, nasty, selfish bee-aches ever.

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You guys! Look, they all have cute personalities. Okay?

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One thing I notice about this picture,...One girl in HS uniform...One girl in Doll costume...and one got the Kawaii dress and hairstryle...arent these most of Japanese men fetishes???

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It doesn't matter. The only people remotely interested in this kind of infantile, cutesy-poo dross are a) either cerebrally- or phallically-challenged and b) Denizens of this scepter'd isle.

The Foreign Ministry has no right weeing away tax revenue on crapola of this magnitude.

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QWottock Hunt - well said! LOL

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they didnt put the "Maid-do chan" costume because its gonna be too obvious.... ;-P

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they are okay for my liking.these looks are what their men prefer and thus calls them cute,what is wrong with that?

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arent these most of Japanese men fetishes???

What - no nurse or air attendants?

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I cant think of a more perfect way to effectively show the world the depth of Japanese culture. These girls epitomize all things Japanese. Good on you foreign ministry!

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hilarious - it must be a ploy to take attention away from the drunk guy

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huh? can someone explain why this isn't internationally embarrassing celebrating male dominated infantilism? My first reaction: "Hello, this is Japan, please don't take us seriously, we don't". Reinforcing the weirdness of Japan cannot in any way improve relations. International relations are about y'know...issues. Remember those?

Sorry, I was just reading about kids running a donation drive to build schools in Africa, and succeeding, then I read this...yikes.

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aj201:

Unfortunately, that 'cute' look has spread like a contagion throughout Asia.

I was in Singapore last week for a business trip, didn't see anyone like those 'Ambassadors of Cute'....I think the girls over there have much better class in fashion, hair-styles, etc....than over here in Tokyo.

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Shizuka Fujioka: Nice hair but she looks like The Joker. The rest are not that impressive. Give me a pic of an ANA flight attendant any day.

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Seesaw: I was in Singapore last week for a business trip, didn't see anyone like those 'Ambassadors of Cute'....I think the girls over there have much better class in fashion, hair-styles, etc....than over here in Tokyo.

I'm from Singapore so...ARE you SERIOUS when you say that 'cause I think Tokyo girls (in general, not just the 'kawaii' types) definitely have better taste than those over at my side (damn wonder how many times I'm going to get slammed for this). Anyway the grass always looks greener on other side, as the old adage goes (at least it applies to me haha)

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Wow!!! It's a kindergarten!!!

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Well I have to admit that young women in Japan are generally a lot more pleasant to look at than in other countries. So perhaps the foreign ministry in their generosity thought, lets make happy feeling for salary men everywhere in bad economy.

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Ambassadors of Cute? Huh? More like Ambassadors of the Bizarre . . .

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@glaspar:

Dude, I'm in Singapore right now and have been here for over a year. I'm looking at a local china doll right now that makes those girls look like chopped liver!!!!!!!!

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because they represent Japan’s long-running craze for all things cute.

Cute? How about immature?

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The really hot Japanese women are not the ones you see on TV. The ones on TV have to look similar to this satisfy the low self-esteem men. Or too satisfy some gimmick fetish. The ones that look like sexy women are too mature thus intimidating. This psychology is seen throughout the society. Images of women looking very vunerable, young, unintelligent or helpless. All the fetishes people described in their posts are all super submissive. These blank clueless stares are a turn-on because it is a sign I can take advantage or maybe I know more. A lot of Japanese men can't handle an equal women yet.

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I didn't know that cute meant "looking stupid".

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excellent post biglittleman!

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They should have ask Ebi-chan to be an ambassador of cuteness!

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In response to Larry's post of 11:17 - I'd say there is a distinct probability. An sooner or later, one of these vacant clones will be crying on a DVD so we can all have a look at it.

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A lot of Japanese men can't handle an equal women yet.

Neither can a lot of western men. They are just in denial about it. Oh, they may desire more mature, intelligent and strong looking women, and that is reflected in their TVs and magazines, but that sure as heck does not mean they can handle them.

And plenty of others are in denial about what they really want because they are too chicken to against what they have been told is the grain.

Moderator: Back on topic please.

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Liketis,

You are correct women who think and act like men can sometimes be scary. The advantage is she can possibly make you a better man. The advantage for the other type you can possibly control her and keep your ego intact. The first one in the log run sounds better but the second type has a lot of great short term perks.

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The really hot Japanese women are not the ones you see on TV. The ones on TV have to look similar to this satisfy the low self-esteem men. Or too satisfy some gimmick fetish. The ones that look like sexy women are too mature thus intimidating. This psychology is seen throughout the society. Images of women looking very vunerable, young, unintelligent or helpless. All the fetishes people described in their posts are all super submissive. These blank clueless stares are a turn-on because it is a sign I can take advantage or maybe I know more. A lot of Japanese men can't handle an equal women yet.

Very true.

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saborichan and Ranger_Miffy, the girl on the right isn't in cosplay or trying to look like Judy Garland. I believe she is wearing an outfit from BTSSB (Baby, the Stars Shine Bright), which is a very popular lolita fashion label, both in Japan and abroad.

You can see the full picture here http://www.daylife.com/photo/08D77hccumbYW/japan

I'm not crazy about the outfit of the girl in the middle, but these girls are undeniably cute IMO. They're not supposed to represent the image of the average Japanese women. They will do a lot less damage to the image of Japan abroad than some drunken politician.

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Middle girl isn't cute, and that hair is hideous.

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These three girls look like they're enjoying themselves. I look foward to hearing them speak at the Japan Expo in Paris in July.

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They look cute to me, much cuter than what I'm used to seeing in Oklahoma USA. Ranked at like #48 in state health, yeaaah! #3 for highest obesity rate! /sigh The chicken fried steak is good... the imported sushi isn't. I hope they do well.

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Middle girl is very cute and that hair is fantastic.

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aelieth know what he be talkin' about.

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Middle girl looks plastic. The girl on the left gets my vote because she seems more natural. Love those darling dimples! The girl on the left looks a little dazed. I hope they have fun.

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Cute? You're kidding, right....?

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"Cute? You're kidding, right...?"

You're kidding, right?

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I'm morbidly interested to hear what they have to say at the Japan Expo, and the general reaction to these "Ambassadors"

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Ye gods those are creepy looking girls.

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note for FM: Japanese idea of cute often doesn't translate abroad (and visa versa).

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Its disappointing to see that Japan chose cuteness to represent the country as a whole. Japan has so much to offer on a cultural level. As an individual interested in the Japanese culture (with the exception to manga or anime), I own and have read books about the Japanese culture and try to understand the fascination with anything cute; however, I believe choosing cuteness to represent the country not to be a wise decision. As a firm believer in people's right to choose, it is the Japaneses' right to choose whom ever they therefore wish to represent their country.

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sf2k

International relations are about y'know...issues. sf2k, I agree with you on this part. biglittleman, I fully agree with you. I couldn't have said it better myself.

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They don't look cute without photoshopping.

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Middle girl is very cute and that hair is fantastic.

Sarge, all I can say is, you have some strange taste. None of the 3 is really cute, but out of the 3, I'd go for the girl on the left.

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The girl on the left looks like her face is two different sizes. The top half looks normal, but the bottom (her jaw, lips AND dimples) look like they're from a Popeye cartoon. A little photoshop magic and voila.

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NOT CUTE!!! They try too hard to be cute like American girls try too hard to be sexy. It makes the Japanese girls look like plastic overly done dolls that are more than a few dozen cards short of a full deck.

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glaspar: I was in Singapore on a short business trip. Perhaps I only get to see people in my job industry. I know J girls in general are fashionable but most don't look as elegant ....it's just about brands.

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Ruika, thanks for the cultural clue-in about the middle gal.

As for Ambassadors of Cute, I'd like to add to a post above and suggest these three go to Africa to be A of C...and bring lots of Japanese yen to do some good there. Now, THAT would be interesting!

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I had to checkthe calendar and make sure this isn't April 1st. My initial thought was that this was some form of joke -- "Ambassadors of Cute"? Actually, it is joke, on Japan. They just don't know that the whole world is laughing at them.

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Girls on the sides = WIDE smiles. One on the right's cutest, and not just because of her gothloli look, I guess she has longer and less wide features. This is in spite of brown hair because I like black hair. I notice the left one didn't totally trim bangs well. Pink streaks on middle just look odd.

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All the posters who dissed these three cute girls secretly wish they would be kissed by any one of them.

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Gawd, those girls are batters, no thanks, look blooming weird.

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Slogan for the campaign: We had a thought, but it died of ronriness.

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According to the Japanese governments department of tourism, 45% of Japanese do not even want foreign tourists in the country. If this is the case, they would be far better off educating their own people about the benefits of tourism rather then using these 3 clowns to promote Japan to foreigners who arent even welcome here....

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Finally a JT topic on which all of us agreed, hahaha.

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The two on the left and right, yes; the oneo n the middle, no....

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All 3 and their moms. God Bless Niiihon.

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45% of Japanese do not even want foreign tourists

Wasn't the stat 45% of Japanese inns?

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OMG i love Yu Kimura's hair!! i wonder what my hair dresser would say if i asked her to do it for me next time.. hmm ^^

Interesting campaigne "cuteness" japan does have alot of cute clothes and stuff that are, i hope thye come to australia xD

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OMG i love Yu Kimura's hair!! i wonder what my hair dresser would say if i asked her to do it for me next time.. hmm ^^

You work for Cirque du Soleil?

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Lolol

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Is this a sly wink for the fetishists? Probably not good to overthink this pic. It wasn't meant for that. Meanwhile, kaptain, I think Britney Spears "Circus" road show is more a sign of the apocalypse than the ambassadors of cute.

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yeah sure, because japan and france is have the same way of their style together.

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