Back off haters ... Avril Lavigne's controversial "Hello Kitty" music video is NOT racist, and she's actually being hailed as a cultural hero -- at least according to Japanese officials ... TMZ has learned.
The video was posted briefly on YouTube before it was pulled down -- allegedly because it was released early, not because of its content -- but all the same it quickly generated outrage on social media.
Peeps at the Japanese Embassy in Wash. D.C. are pretty chill about it though ... telling us they believe Avril "had only good intentions when making the video."
The spokesman added ... they "would be happy if the discussions surrounding her song and music video results in more people discovering the beautiful and rich culture of Japan."
In other words ... Avril ichiban.