Japan slighted by French cartoon


Japan took offense at a satirical cartoon published by a French weekly showing what appeared to be sumo wrestlers with extra limbs and the stricken Fukushima nuclear plant in the background.

Le Canard Enchaine said the decision to award the 2020 summer games to Tokyo, despite the on-going nuclear crisis at Fukushima, has now made sumo an Olympic sport.

Another cartoon showed two people standing in front of a pool of water while wearing nuclear protection suits and holding a Geiger counter, saying water facilities had already been built at Fukushima.

Such satirical jabs give the wrong impression about Japan, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said, adding Japan will lodge a formal protest over the sketch.

“These kinds of satirical pictures hurt the victims of the disaster,” Suga told a news conference Thursday.

“This kind of journalism gives the wrong impression about the waste water problem.”

The leaks of radioactive water at the crippled plant threatened to overshadow Tokyo’s bid to host the 2020 Olympic Games. Japan eventually clinched the award, beating out Istanbul and Madrid, with consistent assurances from prime Minister Shinzo Abe that the crisis in Fukushima would not affect Tokyo.

Abe insisted that the leaks had been contained for the time being and pledged funding to build a frozen wall around reactor buildings to prevent irradiated water from seeping into the ground.

By: Maesie Bertumen

Image: Gianfranco Goria/Flickr



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