It’s not news that some of Dydo‘s vending machines talk to you. Put yours coins in the slot and they say greetings in Japanese (“Welcome!”, “Good Morning” etc). They even give warnings to collect the change or insert more money when necessary. First introduced in 2000, Dydo then developed special versions for the Kansai region with “friendlier”, more casual speech, and then continued localizing for Aomori and Nagoya.
Now with tens of thousands of the machines up and down the country, the first new version in two years arrives in Okinawa. Though it seems to stop short of shouting “Get Out Futenma Air Base!” the unit does use local expressions and words, it seems, in attempts to please and entice the local consumer. Just look for the dramatic yellow and red sticker.
It is interesting that, whereas for decades many countries (such as Britain) were ashamed of regional accents and dialects, and made efforts to suppress their usage in the media, Japan has no let-ups about celebrating these differences and utilizing them for marketing purposes. Rather, hyojungo (standard Japanese, spoken in the Tokyo area) is seen as a tad boring and if you’re going to the extra effort of making vending machines that talk, you might as well make them fun!