US envoy to Japan in hit video on YouTube

US ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy performing the opening move in a video of US embassy employees and consular officials doing a dance from a popular Japanese television series. The video had been viewed more than four million times by yesterday
US ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy performing the opening move in a video of US embassy employees and consular officials doing a dance from a popular Japanese television series. The video had been viewed more than four million times by yesterday afternoon.PHOTO: YOUTUBE/US EMBASSY TOKYO

HONG KONG • The Japanese public pays careful attention to the words and deeds of Ms Caroline Kennedy, the US ambassador to Japan and one of the State Department's best-known diplomats.

But Ms Kennedy generated an unusual buzz in Tokyo last week by doing something that is almost certainly not in her job description: wearing a Santa suit and dancing in a quirky video.

The 93-second video, uploaded to YouTube last Tuesday, features US embassy employees and consular officials across Japan mimicking dance moves from We Married As A Job, a popular Japanese television series.

By yesterday afternoon, the video had been viewed more than four million times on YouTube.

"Wow, this is great," one person wrote in Japanese on YouTube. "Americans are really good at getting carried away. A boring Japanese government would never do this."

The television series premiered in October and its closing dance to a peppy song titled Koi, or Love, became a sensation on Japanese social media. People around the country - including a group of famous figure skaters - have uploaded their own versions of the Koi Dance.

In the embassy's version, Ms Kennedy performs the opening move, which looks vaguely like a yoga pose, to the song from the show.

Other scenes show members of her staff dancing around their offices in Christmas hats and sweaters, as one official lip syncs the lyrics.

The video also includes a cameo by a person dressed as Kumamon, the bear mascot of the southern prefecture of Kumamoto, who dances beside a team of fake reindeer.

Mr Jonas Stewart, an embassy spokesman in Tokyo, said: "We thought people would enjoy it but we had no idea how popular it would become."

NYTIMES

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on December 25, 2016, with the headline 'US envoy to Japan in hit video on YouTube'. Print Edition | Subscribe