New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was welcomed to Japan this week at a kiwifruit event where two large kiwi mascots greeted her with a dance routine to somber music.
In a video posted to Twitter by New Zealand reporter Henry Cooke, the two large mascots, known as the “Kiwi Brothers,” are seen swaying to a somber violin song in a room full of suited men. The cute mascots, depicted as a golden and green kiwi with large cartoonish eyes, were a part of a marketing event by New Zealand’s Zespri, the world’s largest kiwi distributor.
This is the greatest day of my life pic.twitter.com/KIp4bP7h8u
— henry cooke (@henrycooke) April 21, 2022
Ardern, who has not been on an overseas trip in more than two years, began her visit to Japan by attending the Zespri event. According to the Associated Press, Ardern traveled to Japan in hopes of increasing business and tourism partnerships following border closures related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
While posing for a photo with the Kiwi Brothers, Ardern was reportedly heard saying, “I feel like I’m photo bombing.”
This was Ardern’s second encounter with the Kiwi Brothers since she first met them in 2019 while in Tokyo, Japan. Ardern described the photo as bringing her “such joy and delight” and stated that she still keeps a photo of the three holding hands in her office.
New Zealand Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, meets kiwi mascots in Japan. pic.twitter.com/NpN8ix1H2X
— Mondo Mascots (@mondomascots) September 20, 2019
“The kiwi brothers I particularly remember, while they thankfully didn’t make me dance, they did hold my hand,” Ardern recalled to News Hub. “That image brought such joy and delight to my office in New Zealand that to this day, the photo of my hand holding with the kiwi brothers still hangs in my office.”
The Kiwi Brothers are often used in promotional ads for Zespri in Japan and have even built a fanbase around the adorable mascots.
— ゼスプリキウイ公式 (@zespri_jp) March 30, 2022
Featured Image via @zespri_jp (left), @henrycooke (right)