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U.S. President Barack Obama will meet Emperor Akihito in Tokyo on April 24. Last time Obama met the emperor in Japan, in 2009, he shook hands and bowed, which upset some members in the U.S. Congress a


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I couldn't care less.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Meh, I bow to my Kouchou senseis.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The Emperor also did both. You see that in other situations in which Japanese and Westerners meet: simultaneous bowing and handshaking. Neither knows just what to do and do both looks a bit odd. Congress has been very hostile to Obama and is happy to find anything he does wrong. The media has to create & court constant controversy. It's harder and harder to care.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

What do people expect? High Fives?

10 ( +11 / -1 )

Only if you are an idiot republican. What are the alternatives? Should Obama place his foot on the emperors head, fire a six shooter in the air and yell Yee-HaA?? Is that more to republican tastes??

Or should he show his intelligence and knowledge of the world by greeting a person in his/her own country in the tradition of that country.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

In 2009, Obama didn't bow just once. The first one was far too deep to be customary. Somebody should teach Obama the proper ways of bowing and what it means. However, showing respect to people in ways their own culture would recognize. Though common greetings are much more informal, bowing to someone of great cultural significance and sign of courtesy is a clear indication that Obama has taken a departure of so many other U.S. presidents.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Far right wing conservatives have taken criticism of Pres. Obama to never seen before levels. Whatever he does when he meets the emperor will be met with disapproval or ridicule, guaranteed.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Three words: when in Rome

1 ( +2 / -1 )


When in Rome...Just no weight to that comment.

Shake, bow...Both fine. Going on about this kind of stuff is too tabloidy. If someone bowed to me in my home country it wouldn`t bother in the least. The Pres did both so he covered all the bases.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I don't see a problem with him bowing to the emperor, but I don't really see any reason for him to even meet the emperor in the first place. The emperor holds no power and is only looked up to for being lucky enough to be born into a meaningless "royal" family. Surely Obama could make better use of his time.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

no, it's being respectful.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

I don't mind if Obama bows to the emperor.

I DO mind if Obama bows to the "too big to prosecute" banks.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Next time I hope they modernize the protocol and do a fist bump.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

No....It was a polite and culturally savy thing to do... Nor do I think it would have been rude of him not to bow either.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Would the rightwingers prefer a Vulcan Salute? Then again, I can imagine the bobble-heads at Fox would ridicule him if he couldn't pull it off, or if he did, take him to the cleaners for using a gesture from a TV show devised by a notorious atheist.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

It's good to know that the right-wingers in US are just as crazy as the right-winger in Japan.

I wonder what the right-wingers in Japan would think of this? LOL... These people can never get along with each other.

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

Obama is a liar and a criminal. I don't understand why the Emperor would want to meet a person like that. Maybe he'll get some bad sushi and make a fool of himself like Bush did to the Prime Minister.

It's good to dream.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

While i think the right-wing criticism of Obama's last encounter was blown way out of proportion, I do understand the driving force behind it. Countries go to great lengths to put leaders on equal footing when they meet. One leader - even inadvertently - showing more deference to the other can set off waves of controversy. I expect Obama will bow when they meet again (to not do so will cause the right-wingers to screech, "See? Even OBAMA knows he shouldn't have bowed before!"), but will have received some instruction on exactly how much of a bow is appropriate.

I don't see a problem with him bowing to the emperor, but I don't really see any reason for him to even meet the emperor in the first place. The emperor holds no power and is only looked up to for being lucky enough to be born into a meaningless "royal" family. Surely Obama could make better use of his time.

The same argument could be made for Presidents meeting with the Queen of England. That's not the main reason the president traveled to the country, but it's good PR to throw the figurehead monarchs a "status bone" while the President is there.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Of course it's wrong. Why should the most powerful man in the world (the real emperor in this case) bow down to the figurehead emperor of a tributary state?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Although I've been consistently critical of Obama's policies, executive orders, lack of the transparency he promised, using federal agencies to intimidate and attack political opponents, and picks for the Supreme Court, his cabinet, etc., etc., I think it's entirely appropriate for him to bow when meeting Japan's emperor or prime minister. Although he (or his staff of advisers, who can't seem to get anything right, if they even try at all) should do just a bit of research and teach him how to bow properly. At least members of Clinton's team tried to teach him how to salute properly.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

If the emperor bows, an equal bow is ok. Else, I think the best thing to do is to shake hands, then give him a nice hug. The poor guys needs it. He has been in a thankless job for so many years and it is expected to continue doing it until he dies. I do not envy him a bit.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

upset some members in the U.S. Congress and media.

It's sad these people are so idle that they find nothing better to do in their work hours.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

There's absolutely nothing wrong with the president bowing to the Emperor. It's not a sign of subservience. It's a sign of respect that is reciprocated in kind 9 times out of 10, with the 10th time likely being because the other person is either unaware of Japanese customs or is simply a jerk. It's no different from a handshake, and I doubt anyone in U.S. Congress would insist Obama refuse to shake hands with another foreign dignitary. Oh, wait. They have. Raul Castro comes to mind. Sigh...

The U.S. Congress needs to do more to educate itself to the ways of the world. Google "bowing," for Pete's sake.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The president of the United States never bows to any foreign dignitary, the American flag may never be lowered in salute any other nation or dignitary. This is protocol and custom, not right wing ranting. The emperor knows this, hence the startled (horrified?) look on his face when Obama bowed to him.

Of course, before 2008, Obama had never possessed a US passport (it says so on his passport application) so supposedly he had never traveled to any foreign country before becoming president. With absolutely no experience meeting leaders and dignitaries in their home countries, it is no surprise he didn't know what he was doing.

Go back to the opening ceremony of the 1936 Olympics in Berlin. As the athletes of each nation stopped in front of the podium to salute Germany and Adolph Hitler, each and every nation dipped their flag in salute, except for America.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Nothing wrong at all.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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