Japanese mask maker dumps Trump, embraces Biden

Rubber masks of US President-elect Joe Biden (left) and US President Donald Trump at the Ogawa Studios mask factory in Saitama, Japan, on Nov 12, 2020. PHOTO: AFP

TOKYO (REUTERS) - For a mask producer in Japan, the transition from US President Donald Trump to Mr Joe Biden has been a smooth one, as it switches production to masks of the Democrat President-elect.

Ogawa Studios, a small producer in Saitama, north of Tokyo, starting making rubber Biden masks earlier this year but since his election win last week, it has ramped up production.

In October alone, 1,000 Biden masks were sold for 2,400 yen (S$31) each, and the company has set a goal of producing a further 25,000 by year's end.

Meanwhile, the Trump masks, which cost the same, have been relegated to the bottom of the company's product line.

Ogawa Studio manager Koki Takahashi said it was much easier to produce a caricature of Mr Trump, whose mask appears to be shouting, than it was for Mr Biden.

Mr Biden's caricature is much more low-key, with a gentle smile.

"We didn't have any background information on Biden, so it was hard to grasp his character," said Takahashi.

"But we especially paid close attention to the corner of his eyes and his mouth to make it."

The real-life Biden continues to lay the groundwork for his administration, against the backdrop of a resurgence of Covid-19 cases across the US, while Mr Trump refuses to accept the election's outcome.

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