Herald Sun cartoonist Mark Knight has been slammed in Japan for his depiction of Naomi Osaka at the US Open final.

The cartoon, published yesterday, has been widely criticised as “racist” and “vile” by The Japan Times, actor Ken Watanabe, and American professional wrestler Bob Sapp who is big in Japan.

“This is classic white hair,” reported The Japan Times.

Mark Knight says the cartoon has nothing to do with racism, but he does work for the Herald Sun.

“The world’s gone crazy,” he said, “It’s a cartoon about poor behaviour.”

“It’s a slippery slope once you stop people from drawing Asians with blonde hair.”

Image: HeraldSun/Mark Knight