Romance has very little to do with Valentine’s Day in Japan. On Feb 14, girls usually give “giri-choco (obligation chocolate) to their male colleagues who are supposed to return the favor with chocolates on White Day (March 14).
However, this year, some chocolate companies are launching “tomo-choco,” an economy-boosting plan to promote the exchange of chocolates between female friends on Valentine’s Day.
Actress Haruka Ayase, 25, and fashion model Tsubasa Masuwaka, 25, are promoting the campaign. “When I was at school, we used to make our own confectionery for Valentine’s Day,” said Ayase. “Once I tried it, I got hooked and started baking cakes.”
When asked who she would like to give chocolates to this year, she responded, “I’d like to give them to all the people who’ve looked after me and helped me over the years, regardless of whether they’re a man or a woman.”
Masuwaka, said: “I’m trying to think of something that will really please my husband and son. Asked to whom she would give “tomo-choco,” she responded with the name of fellow model and TV personality, Jun Komori. “I have a feeling she’ll say she doesn’t want them, though” she joked.