Jacinda Ardern’s visit to Japan: Kiwi mascots dancing on dark ropes welcome New Zealand’s Prime Minister to Japan
“I feel like photo bombardment,” Ardern said as he posed with the mascots.
Ardern arrived in Japan on Thursday for her first overseas trip in more than two years, the Associated Press reported, seeking to strengthen trade and tourism ties after pandemic-related border closures were rolled back.
The visit began with Ardern’s participation in a kiwifruit event organized by the New Zealand group Zespri, the world’s largest distributor of kiwifruit.
You could say that the mascot dance has several meanings: fruit aside, New Zealanders are known as “kiwis”.
Mascots in Japan are a cultural phenomenon – all sorts of businesses, government agencies, and other entities use them.
The stark disconnect between the tone of the music and the appearance of the kiwis has been the subject of online speculation. “Feels like the kiwis smashed the door to a funeral,” one Twitter user wrote.
This wasn’t Ardern’s first encounter with the mammoth kiwis. In 2019, she had met them and posed with them, hand in hand.
“This picture brought such joy and delight to my office in New Zealand that to this day the picture of my hand holding with the kiwi brothers still hangs in my office,” she said, according to a report from Newshub, a New Zealand outlet. .
At Thursday’s event in Tokyo, Ardern also dabbled in Japanese calligraphy, writing the word “kiwi.” She took a second hit after an unsatisfactory first attempt. Meanwhile, his colleague Damien O’Connor, the minister for trade and export growth, decorated a cake with “as many kiwis as possible”.
In addition to business talks, Newshub reported, Arden’s group was scheduled to participate in a sake barrel lid tearing ceremony.