- Title: Japan Trump mask producer excited by orders but not by Trump presidency
- Date: 21st November 2016
- Summary: SAITAMA, JAPAN (NOVEMBER 21, 2016) (REUTERS) EXTERIOR OF OGAWA RUBBER INC., A FACTOR PRODUCING RUBBER MASKS OF U.S. PRESIDENT-ELECT DONALD TRUMP SIGN READING (Japanese): "OGAWA RUBBER INC." FACTORY WORKER HANGING UP RUBBER MASKS RUBBER MASK DEPICTING TRUMP (RIGHT) NEXT TO RUBBER MASK DEPICTING JAPANESE TV PERSONALITY, MATSUKO DELUXE TWO FACTORY WORKERS SITTING AND WORKING FACTORY WORKER BUFFING A TRUMP MASK FACTORY WORKER LOOKING THROUGH GLASSES FACTORY WORKER'S HANDS BUFFING A TRUMP MASK MASK DEPICTING JAPANESE PRIME MINISTER, SHINZO ABE, AND TRUMP ON PRODUCTION LINE TRUMP MASKS BEING SPRAY PAINTED TRUMP MASKS MOVING ON A PRODUCTION LINE FACTORY WORKER WORKING TRUMP MASKS ON PRODUCTION LINE AS WORKERS WORK VARIOUS OF FACTORY WORKER'S HANDS PUTTING EXTRA LAYER OF RUBBER ON A TRUMP MASK TRUMP MASK BEING SPRAY PAINTED PARTIALLY SPRAY PAINTED TRUMP MASK MOVING ON PRODUCTION LINE PILE OF TRUMP MASKS, WORKERS OPENING PACKAGES OF MASKS TRUMP MASKS BEING ARRANGED ON TABLE, REMOVED FROM PLASTIC BAGS FOUR WORKERS FINALIZING TRUMP MASKS VARIOUS OF WORKERS CUTTING OFF EXCESS RUBBER FROM TRUMP MASKS PILE OF TRUMP MASKS LYING ON TABLE AS WORKERS FINALIZE TRUMP MASKS (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) CHIEF DIRECTOR OF OGAWA RUBBER INC., TAKAHIRO YAGIHARA, SAYING: "I don't think anyone expected Mr. Trump to win. Although I feel complicated about his win, Mr. Trump's masks sell more. But again, Mr. Trump's presidency isn't exactly good news for Japan, so I've been conflicted between those two ideas." YAGIHARA'S EYES DURING AN INTERVIEW (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) CHIEF DIRECTOR OF OGAWA RUBBER INC., TAKAHIRO YAGIHARA, SAYING: "I think when people wear this mask and fool around, they often joke about building a "wall." Even if a timid person is being scolded for some reason, if they wear the mask, they'll be able to joke around and declare a "wall" be built to protect themselves. I hope Mr. Trump's many comments will be used in lighthearted jokes (while wearing the mask)." MASKS DEPICTING FORMER U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE HILLARY CLINTON IN PACKAGES PACKAGED CLINTON MASKS SITTING IN BOX NEXT TO PILE OF TRUMP MASKS ON TABLE TRUMP MASK
- Embargoed: 6th December 2016 09:42
- Keywords: Donald Trump mask factory USA president Trump
- Location: SAITAMA, JAPAN
- City: SAITAMA, JAPAN
- Country: Japan
- Topics: Government/Politics,Elections/Voting
- Reuters ID: LVA00159DZKNB
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:Japanese mask factory boss Takahiro Yagihara can't mask his mixed feelings about United States President-elect Donald Trump.
Orders for rubber masks of the soon-to-be leader are continuing to flood his factory near Tokyo, so much so the workers are exhausted. But the reality of a Trump presidency has left him concerned.
"Mr. Trump's masks sell more... but Mr. Trump's presidency isn't exactly good news for Japan," he said.
The Ogawa Rubber Inc. factory in Saitama prefecture produces realistic, handmade and hand-painted rubber masks of cartoon characters and political celebrities.
Trump's victory over Democrat Hillary Clinton earlier this month has left many in Japan nervous about the future.
The brash billionaire real estate magnate had fanned worries in Tokyo and beyond with comments on the possibility of Japan acquiring nuclear arms, demands that allies pay more for keeping U.S. forces on their soil or face their possible withdrawal, and his opposition to the U.S.-led 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade pact.
Now, the country is bracing for what the next step may be, after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe became the first foreign leader to meet Trump since his victory and called him "trustworthy".
"I think when people wear this mask and fool around, they often joke about building a "wall"... I hope Mr. Trump's many comments will be used in lighthearted jokes (while wearing the mask)," Yagihara said.
The factory received 200 orders for both Trump and Clinton and masks in May. Trump mask orders tripled by October, around Halloween and in the build up to the election, reaching 600, whereas Clinton mask orders reached just 450.
The factory has had 400 Trump mask orders and counting this November, compared to 100 Clinton mask orders. Yagihara says he expects the Trump mask trend in Japan to continue through to the end of the year, as year-end parties approach.
The factory has experienced a boost in sales in previous U.S. and Japanese elections of politically-themed masks as well. They produce masks of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, as well as masks of U.S. President Barack Obama.
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