Japanese, essentially a clone-like race, have an ardor for foreigners, who have very different features. Because of these differences, many westerners are used in Japanese commercials. They are “cool” to Japanese. Japanese welcome not only stars, but also ordinary westerners.
Japanese also have strong interest in foreign cultures. Japanese accept anything from fashion to food, not to mention music and movies. Take for instance, food. In Japan, there are many restaurants specializing in ethnic cuisines such as Vietnamese, Mexican and Spanish. Of course, it is well-known that Japanese are very fond of designer brand products.
Behind this behavior lies the fact that Japan is an island nation that experienced about 250 years of near total isolation (early 17th century ～ late 19th century). Japan’s closed society led to the creation of a unique culture comprising such things as sumo and ukiyoe (Japanese art). Ironically, the side-effect of closing Japan to foreign cultures may have doubled Japanese peoples’ fundamental interest in exotic things. For foreign products have always been regarded as valuable.
Japanese also accept other things from foreign countries besides people and culture. Japanese have respected Shinto as their religion, but imported Buddhism and accept Catholic rituals without feeling it is wrong in any way.