Why don’t you marry a Chinese man? Netizens ask Japanese star Ai Fukuhara

The world number four from Sendai has a huge following on her Chinese micro-blogging Weibo account and is playing the role of an ambassador

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 06 August, 2016, 8:45pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 06 August, 2016, 11:09pm

Before the table tennis battles even begin and possibly taking on Chinese competitors, Japanese player Ai Fukuhara has already won the hearts of the Chinese.

The 28-year-old has gained so much support among Chinese netizens that she has been told to marry a Chinese man—an unusual olive branch given the often tense relations between China and Japan.

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The young Japanese player is fluent in both spoken and written Chinese and already has 340,000 followers on her Chinese micro-blogging Weibo account.

She has been keeping her fans posted about her every actions at the Rio Olympics. On Friday alone, the day of the Olympics opening ceremony, she posted seven messages on Weibo.

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“At the Athletes’ Village and I am looking at the China team building,” she wrote in a post the day before, followed by two smiling face emojis each with a heart.

That post has drawn more than 1,000 comments, with many telling her that she should come to China and marry a Chinese man.

“The relations of China and Japan is counting on you,” one netizen wrote.

Another said:“Why don’t you move into the China team building as well?”

Other netizens were so enamoured with her some reminded her to use mosquito repellent spray and not get bitten.

But there is a catch – she already has a boyfriend and he is a Taiwanese player. Chiang Hung-chieh, 27, will also be competing in the Rio Olympics.

Earlier this week, Fukuhara woke up to find that the toilet at her room in the Athletes’ Village was broken. Instead of calling a plumber, she fixed the toilet herself.