No it's not some kind of bizarre diva on diva leather catsuit chafing-ass standoff. It's a new Pepsi commercial that's set in the noirish underworld of Hong Kong. Or as we like to call it over here in Asia, Japan. Have things like dojos, kimono-style clothing and kendo already been rewritten out of the Japanese textbooks and into Hong Kong ones? Why I haven't seen a more gross misstereotyping of Hong Kong since..well since Martin Yan's faux Chinaman accent!
Oh there are things that blur the cultural boundaries between HK and Japan like a shared inability to resist regular onslaughts of new Hello Kitty products or luxury goods. And the casting of Takeshi Kaneshiro in their films (rrrowwrrrr...he can throw his flying dagger in my house any time *lewd chortle*). But there are also key differences between the two that Pepsi execs should learn to recognise.
HONG KONG: Disneyland (in September 2005)
JAPAN: Disneyland, DisneySea, Universal Studios, Sega Joypolis, Expoland, Cosmoworld and so forth
HONG KONG: Fascination with all things Japanese
JAPAN: Fascination with all things Beckham
HONG KONG: Triads with meat cleavers
JAPAN: Yakuza with samurai swords and flying ninja monkeys
HONG KONG: Talented Sammi Cheng
JAPAN: Talented Norika Fujiwara
HONG KONG: Lee Kum Kee soy sauce
JAPAN: Kikkoman! He came from the planet of soy.
HONG KONG: Street signs with minor typographical errors
HONG KONG: You have offended my family and you have offended the Shaolin Temple.
JAPAN: Wax on....wax off. Wax on...wax off.
HONG KONG: Dried squid junk food
JAPAN: Tentacle p0rn