Japan plans to complain to French satirical paper Le Canard Enchaine after it published cartoons poking fun at Tokyo hosting the 2020 Olympic Games in the aftermath of the Fukushima nuclear disaster.
A cartoon published on Wednesday shows two emaciated sumo wrestlers with extra limbs battling it out while nuclear reactors are pictured in the background. The caption reads: “Thanks to Fukushima, sumo has become an Olympic sport.”
Tokyo won the right to host the Games for the first time since 1964, after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe flew to Buenos Aires last weekend to give a final presentation to the International Olympic Committee. The last few days of the campaign were dogged by questions about radioactive water leaking into the sea from the crippled Fukushima plant. Abe has vowed to resolve the issue before the Games.
The cartoon was “extremely regrettable”, chief cabinet secretary Yoshihide Suga said.
“This kind of cartoon hurts the feelings of those who suffered in the disaster and gives an incorrect impression of the problem of contaminated water at the Fukushima Dai-ichi power plant,” he told reporters in Tokyo.
Suga said the government would complain to the magazine via the Japanese embassy in Paris and would instruct the ministry of foreign affairs to discourage inappropriate media coverage of Japan in future. – Bloomberg