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karks88
05-01-2003, 04:24 PM
Coke pulls toy decorated with swastikas
Was offered in Hong Kong as part of promotion

AP
The robot-like "Robowaru," with two swastikas on its chest, was featured in a Coke promotion in Hong Kong.

Coca-Cola yanked a promotional toy that was being offered in Hong Kong after a rabbi complained about swastikas that adorn the item.

Two swastikas appear on a robot-like character called "Robowaru." Coke offered a Robowaru figurine as part of a set of characters from the longrunning "Robocon" animated series, which originated in Japan about 30 years ago.

The swastikas look like a Nazi icon and are also similar to a Buddhist symbol that is common in Asia.

The man who lodged the complaint, Rabbi Yakkov Kermaier of Ohel Leah Synagogue, said the use of a swastika probably resulted from an honest mistake.

But he still called the toy unacceptable. "It's an emblem that represents the wholesale slaughter of 6 million Jews."

Coke spokesman Kelly Brooks said Robowaru won't be offered anymore.

"We regret any misunderstanding," Brooks said, noting that the Robocon series has appeared on TV for many years, including in Hong Kong.

Kermaier said the Nazi swastika can be easily confused with Buddhist swastikas.

At Animation International, which sells rights for Robocon and worked with Coca-Cola on the toys, spokeswoman Jennifer Chan said the symbols were designed by the creator and "did not have anything to do with any organization or religion."

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I can remember seeing these symbols in the Winter Olympics that were in Nagano, Japan. There was some controversy over them but apparently it's a different meaning in that part of the world.

http://www.ajc.com/business/0403/images/robot0430.jpg

KanKing
05-05-2003, 05:20 PM
This is political correctness gone wild. It's like taking the Confederate flag off the top of the General Lee! Or not letting people say 'Founding Fathers' in school. We have some real idiots running things these days.