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Abe's Super Mario act gets social media buzzing in Japan


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“I wasn’t sure how the audience would react,” he added. “But I received so many cheers. I appreciate it.”

Are you sure you weren't mistaking those cheers for jeers!

-14 ( +12 / -26 )


8 ( +14 / -6 )

Japan is the cartoon character of the world.

4 ( +17 / -13 )

Slightly embarrassing.

To think that Boris Johnson was accused by the Chinese of unbecoming behaviour by not doing up the buttons on his jacket at the 2008 equivalent.

At least he didn't dress as Winnie the Pooh (although some might note a resemblance).

-8 ( +12 / -20 )

Abe himself seemed satisfied.

He is always 'satisfied', Fukushima power plant leakage under control and Abenomics is working.

-10 ( +8 / -18 )

It thought the whole Tokyo promotion, including Abe, was a terrific attention getter that really raised the profile of the 2020 games.

9 ( +16 / -7 )

I see some parallels between James Bond and the queen, and Mario and Abe.

10 ( +13 / -3 )

As long as he's promoting Japan then it's alright.

9 ( +13 / -4 )

I thought it was fantastic and funny. Imagine Hilary trying to pull that off?

5 ( +14 / -9 )

She then suggested Abe should start calling himself “Shinzo Mario Abe” to raise his global profile.

With all the radioactive water leaks at the plants, Japan is certainly in a deep need of Abe's Mario the plumber.

1 ( +11 / -10 )

No doubt it was a well executed PR coup, kudos to Abe and his team. Abe had nothing to lose, people love it when their leaders don't take themselves too seriously and loosen up a bit.

Plus his unassuming & slightly goofy look made him the perfect candidate for this. Well done.

13 ( +16 / -3 )

He is cute,

-4 ( +8 / -12 )

Do you think dressing up as a beloved character is just going to erase your abysmal performance as PM?

Japan's economy is in shambles. Fukushima disaster still not under control. Thousands of people still living in temp housing. Exploding elderly population/low birth rate. Tensions on the rise with China. Trillions of yen lost out of the pension fund. Debt is 200% of GDP. But, yeah, let's play dress up and be cute.

4 ( +16 / -12 )

Bread and circus, works every time!

4 ( +12 / -8 )

Do you think dressing up as a beloved character is just going to erase your abysmal performance as PM?

We, the people in Japan know about this but abroad no one knows who he is, to them he just became the face of Tokyo2020, and yeah....its sad that a bad pm like that gets hailed for it.

0 ( +8 / -8 )

I am always one to be syndical, but this time I can't be. It was a great idea and and well executed.

2 ( +10 / -8 )

Predictably, Abe's performance sticks in the craw of the Abe-haters here, but the fact is it was well received at the stadium. I thought it was an amusing part of the ceremony. Abe has always described himself as Japan's No. 1 salesman and in this case, he did a good job.

5 ( +11 / -6 )

Do you think dressing up as a beloved character is just going to erase your abysmal performance as PM?

We are living in a society when being dressed like a video game character has more impact on your image than re-interpreting the holy sacred foundation of your own constitution.

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

It's ironic that if any of the comments in the article were posted here, they'd be deleted.

1 ( +1 / -0 )


Exactly. Both acts were impressive and successfully brought attention to England and Japan.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

Comments that I read in reaction to news of Abe's appearance as Mario by foreign news sources was overwhelmingly upbeat. It generated a lot of positive buzz. Many people outside of Japan are already excited about what Tokyo 2020 has in store.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

MsDeliciousAUG. 23, 2016 - 08:01AM JST I thought it was fantastic and funny. Imagine Hilary trying to pull that off?

Donald? Is that you!?

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Must have been calculated to maximise political effect, it being so out of character an' all, but nicely done. Entering into a positive Olympic spirit.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

It was unexpected and comical and showed the lighter side of Japanese politicians, which is much needed. It reminded me, too, of James Bond and the queen at London's games.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

It was great PR. Way to go Abe. Applause to you for going to Rio to do this at the Closing Ceremonies. It doesn't matter one's view of him as PM or of Japan's anime culture. It was well played.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Vote me down... I thought it was embarrassing and childish.... but perhaps that is what they were going for?

-1 ( +9 / -10 )

Here, half the world away, in Brazil, media is portraying Abe's performance as very positive to the image of Japanese and the Olympics. Some papers said they are glad that such rigid figures such as Japanese Prime Ministers, can also show a side of Japan that is fun and relaxed. Good point, Mr. Abe.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Haha awesome! I actually can't wait to see the opening ceremony in Tokyo. There's so much that could be used

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Whether you like or hate Abe, it was a great PR stunt. A huge number of world leaders need to lighten up and become real people. All we ever see in the media are the carefully handled, PC correct, pancake made up facades of politicians. They are scripted from the time they get out of bed to the time they have that last pill or injection of the day. The facebooktwitterpundittalkinghead crowd goes into a tailspin if one word outside the script is uttered in public.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

“I wanted to show Japan’s soft power to the world with the help of Japanese characters,” he told reporters.

Abe IS a cartoon. If he really wanted to be today, he'd have been Pokemon. Whatever.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

We are living in a society when being dressed like a video game character has more impact on your image than re-interpreting the holy sacred foundation of your own constitution.

You should say "reinterpreting our American-written constitution in the direction that the Americans wanted and have continued to push for since 1950 when Japan at the behest of the American occupation started rearming."

1 ( +5 / -4 )

I'm no fan of Abe. My dislike of him is almost visceral. I disapprove of his policies, his party, what he says and the way he says it. I don't like him. Almost anyone (apart from the other dinosaurs of the LDP) would make a better PM. My 5-year-old cat would make a better PM.

But Abe Mario, this was good.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

He should have been joined on stage by AKB 48

1 ( +4 / -3 )

But Abe Mario, this was good.

Exactly! People need to put their hatred of Abe aside for a few minutes and appreciate the pretty cool Mario routine.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

I think it's cool.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

The Queen & James Bond-an original idea from the UK. When will the Japanese come up with one of their own instead of copying others?

-4 ( +7 / -11 )

Possibly the only endearing thing he's done since becoming PM.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Yeah I dislike Abe intensely and it was a copy of the queen and the James Bond thing in a japanese way.But it made alot of people around the world smile.I dont think it was for the cynical gaijin in japan audience.Having said that if it enables him to pull the wool over peoples eyes for even longer than he has up to now then it is a bit worryong.But it was just a bit of light hearted fun so everyone chill a bit

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Abe's introduction ruined the video, left a terrible after taste in what was a surprisingly enjoyable olympics. I also love mario, how dare they irreparably taint his image by linking him to Abe

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

Creative and well done!

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Publicity stunt to try to get rid of some of the negative attention he's been getting. Apparently it succeeded.

But if he was willing to pull a stunt like that, why doesn't he make some real gestures of peace and harmony to the world?

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

The fact that as tax paying residence of Japan, we have essentially paid for his PR stunt, I am not the least bit amused. He should have stayed home as probably no more than 1% of people watching actually knew who the hell he is. The show planner could have hired an "extra" to dress up as Mario and the crowd still would have gone nuts.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Mario should go to pearl harbour.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

“He is great.”

Just as Mr Abe planned. He is no longer seen by many as a leader taking the country down a dark path, but someone self-depreciating. It seems his little stunt at Rio has paid off for him.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

But Mario is Italian....

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

I found it amusing when getting into my office Monday morning and hearing most of the 50+ age group asking why the Japanese PM turned into a cartoon character. Mario is probably not as well know as the media wants us to believe.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

I though it was cool and showed a willingness to go outside his comfort zone and promote Japan. Most leaders wouldn't take the risk.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

"Bread and circus, works every time!"

Until all the money is spent ad there is no more bread nor circus, which happens every time.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

i think when a public figure pokes fun at himself - it is a good thing. When a conservative (and sometimes embattled [see all the neg political comments above]) can poke fun at himself, and sacrifice a bit of self conservatism for a good cause ... well heck ... THAT IS A GOOD THING.

And to those who say Mario is Italian ... yeah that is correct ... rewind to the Torino games ... but Nintendo is Japanese ... and boy they know how to make 'em.

Good for you Shinzo Abe !!!

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Politicians do everything to gain some popularity, regardless how re_tarded it makes them look. It's a trait all politicians have in common.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Didn't really believe him as Mario coz his economic policies are more Mickey Mouse

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

New career possibility after retirement?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Why the negitive down votes for some14some? Abe is an idi and a threat to Japanese peace.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"Japan on Monday reacted with a mix of surprise, delight and cynicism ..." - Article .

BUT mostly surprise and delight! Good one, this!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

As others have noted, Abe's stunt probably had its genesis in the James Bond/Queen routine at the London Olympics - but so what? It was amusing and the whole sequence showed Japan in a good light, so I think it was a success.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I thought it was fun. Wonder how much Nintendo demanded for trademark infringement?

It was for entertainment on the world stage. Not reading anything more into it than that. Great amusement.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It was different! I'm writing from Ecuador and in this part of the world Abe made a good impression. Many think that Japanese are too serious, plain and some how boring. Seeing Abe showing up in Rio the way he did made us smile. Maybe what we need to make the world better, among other things, is sense humor. Well done Abe!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Ha-ha! I enjoyed the PR sketch very much (as well as many of the comments here)!

But something formed in the end! Italian (immigrant) plumber in Japan disguised as the PM? Well, he better get that plumbing key and try to stop all the leaks !!! A lot of allegories hidden there if you think of it!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

bogva -

I said the same to my wife.

Now super shinzo mario can use his skills to fix that plumbing hellhole known as Fukushima dai-ichi.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

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