Foreign-tourist lockout: J-vlogger shortage hits regional Japan

This young interviewee takes comfort in the fact that she can answer the intrusive questions while her identity is largely protected by her mask.

Two years into the tourist lockout, experts warn that the problem of a lack of vloggers getting out into the deepest parts of Japan continues.  At the same time, there is also a related development with a shortage of “What do Japanese women actually think of western men?” content being created.

There were warnings from experts such as Regional Japan Tourism chief executive Takeshi Kuroda, that fewer western geeks getting out and about would be an issue in the long-term.  “People ask me why it’s so important to have these guys roaming the country asking young women what they think of western men.  Well, this all has a knock-on effect.  

Kuroda reasserts his position on weaboos at a recent press conference.

“Horny losers see the videos and travel throughout the country, essentially to try and get laid.  And, even if they don’t come, it’s still good for brand awareness,” Kuroda said at a swanky Iidabashi whisky bar.  “We can see that in things like sake sales, game downloads, and porn clicks which all get a bounce out of these amateur videos.  We also see the phenomenon where “What do Japanese women think of western men?” videos breed more “What do Japanese women think of western men?” videos.

 “In 2010 barely any of the YouTube content from Japan was sexually related.  By 2019, that number had grown incredibly,” explained Kuroda.  “It’s as though horny geeks encourage more horny geeks to come here.  It’s something that we’ve all been too embarrassed to admit, but our economy thrives on these sex-starved dweebs.”

Just remember – it can’t be called sexual harassment if you’re carrying a microphone.

Barely functioning rural towns have long been well-aware of their growing reliance on westerners buying shit that they don’t need from their independent stores run by extremely elderly people.  “Traders from Kappabashi have come here, taken a look around, and left without ordering any of our ceramics or fabrics.  Some even laugh at the quality,” said one tofu seller in Toyama.  “These geeks will come here with their smartphones and make videos promoting our stuff, and then hang around the train station asking girls if they’d ever considered having sex with a white man.  It all helps, I guess.”

In Tokyo, a total of four “What do Japanese women think of …” videos were produced in 2021.  The last time the number was that low was more than fifteen years ago, prior to the introduction of smartphones and when YouTube was in its infancy.  Similarly, Kyoto plummeted through the psychological barrier of three such videos produced for the same year.  Unimaginable in recent years when film school graduates unable to find jobs in the real world have been drawn to the city in the hope of chancing upon a hapless Maiko on her day off.

Cute women with friendly faces get targeted the most. A resting bitchface often makes the foreign men reluctant to go in for an interview.

Kuroda said he was pleased with the progress some areas had made to date, with young Japanese creating geeky content in Okinawa and Hokkaido, but the gains being made were a long way from filling the gap left by absent weaboos.  Some prefectures have even been approaching foreign residents on Tokyo streets and asking them to visit their towns to conduct the enthusiastic street interviews.  This initiative was born following the realisation that most of the content creators were virgins coming into the country on tourist visas.  Given the jaded nature of language teachers and code monkeys, however, the project seems more than a little optimistic.

For his home prefecture of Aomori, Kuroda said it had been a “very tough two years”.  He said, “We’ve had to rethink our strategy completely.  We’re still pivoting and trying to lure excitable white filmmakers to the area.  These guys are like unicorns now, though.  We’re starting to target young mixed-race Japanese guys who have no sense of shame.  It’s really taking a lot of energy, time, and resources to get it right, but what other choice do we have.”

These women know that looking businesslike is the best way to avoid the intrusive questioning from foreigners on the street.

Meanwhile, Shikoku Tourism Board Manager Hitori Samishi denied that they had been affected by the absence of western men asking local women if they’d ever consider riding a stud from overseas.  “Those kind of foreigners never came here in the first place.  Nobody gives a flying poo about visiting our fine island.  

“We would dearly love to have dorky white guys asking our young ladies on camera what they think of western men, and let me tell you that we have some of Japan’s most wonderful women here in Shikoku.  Our food and our landscape may be a little unspectacular, but that is not the case with our women.  Frankly, as a father, it’s heartbreaking to see our girls able to walk around town freely, whenever they want, without being bothered by the dweebs of the western world.  They deserve more than that.”

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