Tennis-Osaka laughs off 'too sunburned' comment with plug for sponsor's sunscreen

Credit: REUTERS/KIM KYUNG-HOON

Japanese tennis player Naomi Osaka has laughed off comments by a Japanese comedy duo who said she was "too sunburned" and "needed some bleach", turning the tables with a plug for Japanese cosmetic giant Shiseido that is one of her sponsors.

TOKYO, Sept 30 (Reuters) - Japanese tennis player Naomi Osaka has laughed off comments by a Japanese comedy duo who said she was "too sunburned" and "needed some bleach", turning the tables with a plug for Japanese cosmetic giant Shiseido 4911.T that is one of her sponsors.

The comedians apologised after their remarks at a live event on Sept. 22, the same day Osaka won the Pan Pacific Open, although neither they nor their management company referred to Osaka by name. ID:nL3N26G1P7

"'Too sunburned' lol that's wild," Osaka said on Twitter late on Sunday. "Little did they know, with Shiseido Anessa perfect UV sunscreen I never get sunburned."

Osaka, born in Japan to a Haitian father and Japanese mother but raised in the United States, has been embraced by Japan despite its long history as a racially homogeneous country.

She is one of a group of successful mixed-race athletes, such as U.S. professional basketball player Rui Hachimura and sprinter Abdul Hakim Sani Brown, helping to change that view.

In January, Japanese noodle company Nissin removed a commercial, in which a cartoon character depicting Osaka was shown with pale skin and light brown hair, after it prompted an outcry.

(Reporting by Elaine Lies; Editing by Paul Tait)

((elaine.lies@thomsonreuters.com; Reuters Messaging: elaine.lies@thomsonreuters.com))

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