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A Very Confused Japanese Man Has Become A Viral Symbol Of America's Refugee Ban

This whole thing started when Mr. Sato decided to buy an incredibly large coffee cup...

Posted on February 1, 2017, at 10:14 p.m. ET

On Sunday, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz sent a letter to all employees announcing that the company was "developing plans to hire 10,000 [refugees] over five years."

When the letter was released, it immediately triggered protests among right-wing social media users. Many announced they would be boycotting Starbucks over its perceived opposition to President Trump's travel ban.

Shut them down #BoycottStarbucks Please share! RT

Which also inspired counter-protests and memes on Twitter. Like this one.

Or this one.

me: i don't really like starbucks starbucks: promises 10k jobs for refugees me:

Noticing anything weird about those photos?

It's the same dude in all of them.

That's because they're all from a blog post by a well-known Japanese blogger named Mr. Sato. He writes for a website called Rocket News 24.

In 2015, Sato and the Rocket News 24 team decided to take advantage of a crazy thing Starbucks Japan was offering: The Big Logo Mug.

Sato bought one and decided to try to get someone at Starbucks to fill it.

Yeah, it didn't go well.

Unfortunately, they had to just get a regular cup of coffee and dump it in their humungous mug.

But Sato persevered and successfully drank from his Big Logo Mug...sorta...

Sato told BuzzFeed News he received a DM from a friend overseas who said his photo was going viral.

At first, Sato was really confused. He was worried that his photos were going viral for a bad reason.

"I misunderstood it, I was pretty upset," he said. "Were my photos being used in something bad?"

Sato saw the #BoycottStarbucks hashtag and was really confused. He figured he was part of some kind of protest against Starbucks. He said he also didn't understand what the "Me:" in the tweet meant. But after someone explained it he thought it was pretty funny.

"I understood that it was used in a very positive way," he said.

Sato then reached out to the Twitter user who posted the photos and thanked him, and the two agreed to grab coffee some time.

The internet is so dang weird.

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.