The U.S. is currently embroiled in "election hell," and while this doesn't involve Mr. Obama and Mr. Romney driving around in a loudspeaker car shouting their names outside your window at 8 am, as it does in Japan, it's still a lot of noise to endure. The other day I caught an interesting "election" on Japanese TV -- it was a television program in which viewers got to vote on their favorite brands of cookies and crackers. All the major companies were there, from Glico to Morinaga to Meiji plus foreign brands like Nabisco and McVittie's from the UK. It was a close contest, with Nabisco's Japanese Oreo offerings competing with classic Ritz Crackers and those those oddly named Collon cream cookies, but in the end, Fujiya's Country Ma'am soft cookies were able to come from behind and take the top spot. Fujiya's Peko-chan character -- her name comes from peko peko, which is the sound of hungry stomach rumbling in Japanese -- was smiling with her trademark tongue hanging out of her mouth as she accepted the award.
Decision 2012: "Country Ma'am" were voted the best cookies in Japan.