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People Are Outraged Over How Sexist This Commercial For A Wearable Translator Is

This ad for a wearable translator has caused outrage by glorifying what appears to be street harassment. UPDATE: The company behind the ad has said the whole thing was scripted.

Originally posted on
Updated on

This is a video called "Kisses For Tokyo." It was released by a Japanese tech company called Logbar to advertise its new wearable translator, Ili. You speak into Ili and it spits out a translation. It works with English, Chinese, and Japanese.

View this video on YouTube

TechCrunch Japan noted that Japanese social media users were split between thinking the commercial was sexual harassment and thinking that if the product works as well as it appears to, it could change the world.

As far as I have read on Facebook and Twitter, there are comments ranging from those who enjoy the video saying that "it's sleazy and funny" to those who harshly criticize that it's "definitely a sexual harassment."

It cannot be verified whether the video was fake... Nonetheless, if we can communicate without the language barrier, then it's going to be a real life-changing experience.

The Gaijin Pot Facebook page shared the video, writing, "Japanese company creates innovative new translation product. Decides to market it using the most cringeworthy video possible." Their version of the video has been shared over 40,000 times.


The video is also similar to a pick up artist technique used by Julien Blanc, who was filmed saying that white men are allowed to grab women in Japan and touch and grope them.

After the Blanc's videos were noticed, several petitions were launched to get Blanc banned from a handful of countries, including Japan.


The company behind the ad told the BBC that the whole thing was a scripted stunt:

"The promotional video in question was created with an intention to showcase the effectiveness of the translation device," Logbar's CEO Takuro Yoshida said. "The women are all actresses and were instructed to act the way they did. No one was forced to do anything against their will."

Ryan Broderick is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Ryan Broderick at

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