By Simon Duncan
HUA HIN — When photos of naked Japanese men frolicking in the surf in Hua Hin ended up on Twitter last Saturday, they briefly went viral before being shrugged off as harmless, drunken tomfoolery.
But this being the internet, the story didn’t end there. What made some headlines and raised some eyebrows domestically has gone on to brew up a storm of controversy in Northeast Asia, prompting the men’s Japanese employer to deeply apologize for hurting the honor and feelings of Thailand.
“I can confirm that some men from my company became dead drunk and then got completely naked on the beach,” read a Thursday letter of apology from Yuki Mizutani, managing director of DYM PLC. “On behalf of all people associated with my company, I offer no excuses and apologize unreservedly.”
Twitter photo of the Japanese tourists in the mass skinny dipping session on Hua Hin Beach on Saturday night. Photo: @KomsakAddams / Twitter
While Thailand quickly wrote off the incident as another example of tourists behaving bizarrely, it was seized upon by Japanese netizens in Thailand and overseas who started buzzing about it online days after the photos emerged showing 20 to 30 men locked in a naked group embrace.
Many have offered their own apologies on behalf of their countrymen.
“I deeply apologize to the Thai people. They were extraordinary arrogant and stupid in your country. Please arrest all of them!” Twitter user Yutaka444 replied to a Monday article.
Others reached out to blame the incident, falsely, on Chinese or Korean travelers. Some messages simply contained the name and address of the Tokyo company which employed the men.
By Thursday, the story was spreading through Japanese media. Pixelated photos of several dozen men forming their circle of nudity in Hua Hin were seen by viewers of major Japanese news programs on stations such as TV Asahi, TBS and News 24, as well as the popular Sankei newspaper and Japanese blogs.
The tone of the reports was similar: The naked revelers were criticized by Thai netizens, and the Japanese media was happy to shame them for making trouble in the royal resort of Hua Hin.
The laughter eventually faded as the offending posteriors were identified, forcing DYM, a medical services company, to issue its apology.
While the men are not facing any criminal charges over the incident, DYM vowed to subject the lot of them to “thorough moral training.”
An apology letter issued Thursday by DYM PLC.
Here’s an unofficial translation of what it said:
An apology from our company regarding the trouble caused by some of our members in Hua Hin
Dear Sir / Madam
Please accept my sincere apology for what happened recently.
Members of our company did indeed visit the Kingdom of Thailand in March 2016. Some people from our company went to the resort town of Hua Hin and stayed at a hotel by the beach. I can confirm that some men from my company became dead drunk and then got completely naked on the beach.
On behalf of all people associated with my company, I offer no excuses and apologize unreservedly.
Owing to the sense of freedom found from being on holiday, people from my company did not think about the citizens of the kingdom of Thailand, their honor and how much they hurt the feelings of the people. Upon deep self-reflection all people involved apologize from the bottom of their hearts.
To ensure that such an incident does not occur again, all the people involved will be given thorough moral training.
I realize that this is not a trivial matter. First of all, again let me apologize for the scandal that my company caused. I promise that measures have been put in place to prevent such a deplorable event occurring again.
I apologize unreservedly and offer no excuses.
DYM Company Ltd
March 10, 2016
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