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It boils down to culture. In Asian countries, fair skin was associated with high status, because in order to get fair skin in those days, one had to be royalty or nobility, or a wealthy merchant family, which allow a person to be indoors and out of the sun for much of their life. Commoners on the other hand had to work outdoors, on farms, fishing, contruction, or whatever, and by spending most of their days in the sun, they developed darker tones.
In spite that modern society, most jobs are indoors, tradition dies hard, and fair skin is still seen as a status symbol. In India, they have "skin bleaching" cream which actually is toxic and doesn't work, but millions of Indian women still use it so they can appear as a higher caste.
This is one of the primary drivers many Asians seek white people, especially ones with darker tones, so at the least their children will have fair skin.