national

French broadcaster apologizes to Japan over Fukushima gag

77 Comments

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© 2012 AFP

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

77 Comments
Login to comment

Boo-hoo, grow a pair Japan ! Notice how there aren't any programmes like Mock the week or Have I Got News for You here in Japan.

-20 ( +12 / -28 )

Well, considering how the Govt. has not very seriously handled the Fukushima events, such as food, restarting more reactors, not punishing any TEPCO employees, not rehousing the victims...and so on, than maybe this "joke" shouldn't be taken too seriously.

The truth hurts.

-11 ( +11 / -22 )

Ewan, please come to Japan and tend to the children who are now suffering from radiation poisoning, and have little hope for the future or the all the others whose lives have been shortened and permanently disrupted. I find your comment insensitive to what is really happening in the Fukushima region.

13 ( +20 / -8 )

Here

They are not without hope because of a silly joke on FRench TV. they wouildn't even know about if not dfor thin skinned politico making a fuss. The loser talking about how this joke "hampers reconstruction efforts:" should do more for those efforts himself. That is his real job, not gertting all hurt over some silly program in FRance.

-2 ( +9 / -11 )

Hereforever... so am I. The quip was not at the expense of liitle children in Fukushima, do you think they watch French TV ? It's just that readers of online tabloids, like this one here, are the Japanese equivalent of Daily Mail readers.

-13 ( +6 / -16 )

Can someone explain how this, according to Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura, " hampers efforts toward reconstruction"?

The Govt. needs to do more. The Govt.'s lack of urgency is hampering efforts.

How many evacuees are still living in a school in Saitama?

5 ( +11 / -6 )

@hereforever

Ewan, please come to Japan and tend to the children who are now suffering from radiation poisoning, and have little hope for the future

Much as I think that the French gag was in bad taste, are there any children suffering from radiation poisoning in Fukushima?

-5 ( +4 / -8 )

You can't please all the people all the time - some wisecracks will affect in different ways. I don't think Laurent was making fun of victims.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

I hope this unpleasant little episode will help to disabuse Japanese women once and for all of the bizarre misapprehension that French things are somehow sophisticated and romantic. Let us now begin our God-given duty of public mockery of all things French.

2 ( +13 / -11 )

Kind of reminds me of the freedom fries episode, eh Ivan ?

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

Boo-hoo, grow a pair Japan ! Notice how there aren't any programmes like Mock the week or Have I Got News for You here in Japan.

Come to Fukushima and see for yourself first hand the devastation that last year caused and the residents including children who are now left to suffer. Theres a difference between the comedy in Have I Got News for You which covers events from the political world and taking the piss out of a tragedy such as the Tohoku Earthquake/tsunami.

5 ( +13 / -8 )

The quip wasn't saying ha-ha look at all the japanese left to suffer and the devastation..twatiharuka.

-6 ( +11 / -15 )

Ewan is correct. Why give him thumbs down?

-11 ( +8 / -17 )

The quip wasn't saying ha-ha look at all the japanese left to suffer and the devastation..twatiharuka.

Resorting to childish insults are we? Only reply to me once you've improved your maturity levels beyond that of a grade school child.

7 ( +13 / -7 )

The incident prompted an official complaint from Tokyo, with Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura describing it as “inappropriate” and saying it “hurt the feelings of survivors and hampers efforts toward reconstruction”.

I think Fujimuras own comment is inappropriate. How could the incident hamper efforts toward reconstruction? Just seems a lame attempt at playing the victim card again. A cheap attempt at playing on peoples emotions for political gain.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

The quip wasn't saying ha-ha look at all the japanese left to suffer and the devastation...

No, instead he's saying Kawashima's amazing "save" isn't due to his talent and drive, he's just ha-ha, deformed by radiation.

That's a real knee slapper, isn't it?

Sore loser.

-4 ( +6 / -9 )

No reason for Japan to react so strongly to this. Just a simple joke... Just like comedians and people crack jokes about abuse in the church, Muslims, Nazi's. Humor often comes with a little offensive twist. Nothing to get worked up about. I myself have heard countless jokes about me glowing in the dark or seeing green since I went to Japan in the summer of 2011... It happens with everything, but nowadays because of the internet everybody knows instantly and many things get blown completely out of proportion because someone is offended/annoyed.

0 ( +9 / -9 )

Agree - idiotic and inappropriate comment by that French twit but how is it "hampering efforts toward reconstruction"? I think the J-govt does a good job of the "effort hampering" by themselves.

2 ( +6 / -5 )

The incident prompted an official complaint from Tokyo, with Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura describing it as “inappropriate” and saying it “hurt the feelings of survivors and hampers efforts toward reconstruction”.

This shows how hard the Japanese government is working, trying to turn around the economical depression....

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Do we know if this apology was issued in the French media? Or was it limited to a private letter to the Japanese?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Whatever. Nothing is offensive. We live in post-modern times, and if you can't get with the program, the rest of us are not going to wait for you to catch up.

Those who get offended by things like this, SHOULD be offended.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

I really think the Japanese need to harden up a bit. After all it was their government that said their is no long term health effects from this unfortunate little incident and that we all have nothing to worry about.

Now they can't handle a little joke. Come on seriously toughen up princess. People can have a laugh and a joke without it being nasty.

-4 ( +6 / -10 )

The(J) government should not waste energy to write a letter of protest. Put the energy and resources where it matters the most...towards the Tohoku regions- local residents).

Japan,I got news for you, the French don't care about you. The admiration is a one way street, from Japan to France. If Japan really wants to make a statement, quit whining. Simply,STOP BUYING French products. Both LV and french wines are overrated. (side note: Chilean wines are great and cheap!)

The French dont care about you...only the YEN! Quit babying-it up and get active!

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura describing it as “inappropriate” and saying it “hurt the feelings of survivors and hampers efforts toward reconstruction”.

Yes, Im sure the transcient workforce brought in to do the heavy lifting have been too shocked and saddened to get out of bed these past two days.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Once again Japan gets a case of the "poor-me's". First it was Steven Fry et al with their comments about the luckiest guy in the world who managed to be in not one, but both of the nuclear bombings in WWII. Now, it's some sportscaster half a world away who made a somewhat tasteless comment about a natural disaster. In neither case was anybody happy for their suffering. Nobody will join you in the same level of solemnity you have for your own people. Get over it.

The Western world has a sharply honed scalpel with which we dissect our own tumors and laugh at them. Japan truly does not. We should adopt their gloomy outlook on their turf and in their company, but not on our own.

1 ( +11 / -10 )

“We are deeply sorry for having hurt your fellow citizens. Laurent Ruquier did not want to be disrespectful to Japan and the Fukushima victims,” he said in a statement.

If you listen closely, you can hear his eyes roll as he reads...

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Made me chuckle. However, from now on everytime some purile (door)knob mocks my japanese by over intonating when they speak to me Im gonna call the embassy, claim they are mocking me and kick up a stink about absolutely nothing. Boohoo. Give me my ball. I'm going home.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

I lived Sendai near Fukushima. But I did not get angry at the French broadcaster mainly because it did not come as a surprise. I knew many people around European football like to do something like that.

But I found it funny that when Japanese comedians imitated Nazi costume and salute, and were reprimanded by German or Jewish rights organization several years ago, about 80% of people in JT also criticized Japan, saying insensitive, too stupid or not knowing history. Then, when France made fun of the tragedy in Japan, people in JT are criticizing Japan. I think in both case, they did not try to insult the victims and Jewish generally do not watch such a Japanese TV program. I wish people here criticized German or Jewish rights organization if Japanese did it again, saying there are cultual differences or how childish they are.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

It's all just a cultural misunderstanding. The Japanese cannot understand the subtle, uniquely unique French culture.

5 ( +10 / -5 )

our presenter was mostly trying to mock the French team.

If they wanted to mock the French team why didn't they target them instead?

Real sore losers.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Well said chooch.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Samurai blue

Sorry but the only sore losers are those Japanese that have a genetic inability to take a joke even at their own expense. Seriously if people can't look at the light side of things then they need to lighten up.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

Here we go again. A replay of the of the Hiroshima joke on BBC last year. Of course he should not apologize. Japan should learn to take a joke, if it wants to be present internationally. Or do Japanese politicians want to feel permanently offended? So stupid.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

ReaperIncOCT. 17, 2012 - 09:35AM JST No reason for Japan to react so strongly to this. Just a simple joke... Just like comedians and people crack jokes about abuse in the church, Muslims, Nazi's. Humor often comes with a little offensive twist. Nothing to get worked up about. I myself have heard countless jokes about me glowing in the dark or seeing green since I went to Japan in the summer of 2011... It happens with everything, but nowadays because of the internet everybody knows instantly and many things get blown completely out of proportion because someone is offended/annoyed.

i have yet to see anyone making a joke about 9/11 ...or less you forget?

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Much as I think that the French gag was in bad taste, are there any children suffering from radiation poisoning in Fukushima?

They are running in radiated playgrounds and preparing their Sports Day in the radioactive dust... all that is organized by the Monkasho now directed by convict Makiko Tanaka. But she is so busy watching French late night comedian shows...

Jean Reveillon sent his apologies to the Japanese embassy and to Japanese Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba

Easier for Gemba than getting apologies from Chinese TVs and rioters.

Do we know if this apology was issued in the French media?

The French media has that column for the antics of crazies casting fatwas about comics. So now little Ruquier is to Japan what Salman Rushdie is to the Talibans...

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Agree this may in part be a product of France's unique culture, their sense of humor in particular, which tends to go over the edge in its satire, usually targeted at their own authorities. Clearly not many in Japan would find this particular joke funny if put in a similar situation, but apparently a popular TV host in France (presumably praised in part for his good sense of satire) would, as with his live audience. The official complaint made by J-government was a healthy counter-measure and a needed one by all means in communicating the discomfort caused in Japan and making their point clear. But probably important to also understand these "cross-cultural mishaps" do occur every once in a while with Japan TV every so often being the wrongdoer. French TV has immediately made the right move, case is closed and we should now move on.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

See, now this is a perfect example of how civilized countries handle their grievances.

A country known for making ill-thought-out jokes cracks wise at a cartoon on national TV (Please note that the cartoon itself was actually complimentary; it is the comment that was made by the host which was inappropriate). Those whom felt it was inappropriate send a strongly worded, yet civil, letter to the station. The station judges the complaint valid, and the person responsible apologizes. The matter is resolved.

Sure, Japan could have gone for the riots and the property damage and heck, they could have targeted all the Buddhists and gone all Sengoku on their ass, but modern Japan has a bit more class.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

@Cos I was merely asking a question. I haven't heard news of any children with radiation poisoning as a result of the Fukushima disaster. @Hereforever's comment was overly dramatic and reminiscent of the scaremongering in and outside of Japan following the disaster last year. Unsubstantiated comments like that aren't helpful.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

obviously inappropriate remarks from someone who probably has not seen tragedy in his/her life

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Megosaa,

You need to look harder, as there are several jokes around about 9/11. You see a lot of people know this is just black humour unfortunately the Japanese are just to thin skinned and do not get this humour and then complain that they are being picked on.

-7 ( +2 / -8 )

I call this, the "Korea Effect". Now even Japan is also demanding apologies for every little thing.

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

"If they wanted to mock the French team why didn't they target them instead?"

Don't worry they do at any occasion, in much stronger words than this inoffensive joke.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

@SamuraiBlue

Real sore losers.

You really think anybody was THAT bothered about the result? This was a warm-up match - essentially a glorified training session - for the vital world cup qualifier against Spain which took place last night (France will be delighted with the away draw they got). Saying the result against Japan got under their skin and caused any bad feeling towards Japan is just bizarre.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Much as I think that the French gag was in bad taste, are there any children suffering from radiation poisoning in Fukushima?

They are running in radiated playgrounds and preparing their Sports Day in the radioactive dust... all that is organized by the Monkasho now directed by convict Makiko Tanaka. But she is so busy watching French late night comedian shows...

So the answer would be "No", then.

Agree this may in part be a product of France's unique culture, their sense of humor in particular, which tends to go over the edge in its satire, usually targeted at their own authorities. Clearly not many in Japan would find this particular joke funny if put in a similar situation, but apparently a popular TV host in France (presumably praised in part for his good sense of satire) would, as with his live audience.

Agreed. At to that that this was in the context of a sports report, where fans traditionally loose their sense of civility and permit themselves to become asses. Some may remember last year, during a match, barely a month after the disaster that killed 15,000, crowds chanting "Kawashima, Fukushima!" to the point that the match was stopped by the referees and the coach replaced Kawashima, as he was too emotionally compromised to continue. In other words, a full grown man was reduced to tears.

Back when I was in college, our school had a 90-year tradition of having a huge bonfire prior to the biggest game of the year. And when I mean huge, I am talking about setting a world record at one point. Hundreds of students would turn out for the building of the bonfire, which was all done by their amateur hands, guided only by upper-classmen. My junior year, the bonfire collapsed during construction. 12 students were crushed to death (ironically, the number 12 also has a traditional meaning at our school). One of my friends, a girl with whom I attended technical drawing class with, was one of the dead. It was the greatest tragedy our school had beheld. Tens of thousands of mourners, including the president and several representative arms of the military, paid tribute to the lost students. Senator Phil Gramm, donated his fly-over, and at half-time, everyone rose to the Missing Man formation in the sky. The band, known nation-wide for its elaborate and precise shows, respectfully played Amazing Grace, followed by Taps, and then for the first time in recent history, quietly marched off the field.

Then you had the idiots from the opposing team's home town, who spent the seven days between the bonfire tragedy and the game getting a thousand shirts silk-screened with a picture of the fallen bonfire and a caption reading "What's the matter? Can't keep it up?" to sell outside the stadium.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

An Asian team can't beat the French team without some bizarre reference to a four-armed goalie -- never mind the Fukushima angle?

On the other hand, it shows laudable freedom of opinion to make a joke about the danger of nuclear power in France -- a country totally dependent on it.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

allswellinjapan:

" Agree this may in part be a product of France's unique culture, "

Not unique. Remember, last year, they had the same stupid argument about a BBC show. Like then, the Japanese commentators are completely missing the point, seeing an insult where there is none.

" their sense of humor in particular, which tends to go over the edge in its satire, usually targeted at their own authorities. Clearly not many in Japan would find this particular joke funny i "

Not many in Japan would see a French comedy show in the first place, let alone understand it. This is a trumpet-up issue, exactly like the muslim riots about some Youtube video that nobody has seen.

And like the muslim mobs, the West should defend its freedom of speech and not jump up and apologize each time some shouts "offended". Jeeze.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

And the anti-discriminatory laws in Japan are.......non existent......

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Four-armed is forewarned.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The irony here is that France has more nuclear exposure (90%) than Japan (40%). In the USA, it's less than 30%. However, most of our actual radiation exposure comes from coal fired power stations. Come to think about it, both Japan and Korea use coal ("charcoal") for heating. Just something to consider before pulling the plug on nuclear power.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Japan, learn to mock yourself a little. You seem to have no issues with mocking others so learn how to take it back.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

Jerome_from_UtahOct. 17, 2012 - 02:25PM JST

The irony here is that France has more nuclear exposure (90%) than Japan (40%). In the USA, it's less than 30%. However, most of our actual radiation exposure comes from coal fired power stations. Come to think about it, both Japan and Korea use coal ("charcoal") for heating. Just something to consider before pulling the plug on nuclear power.

The real irony isn't even that, it's that Paris has a higher radiation rate than minma-soma simply because of their architecture. People forget that granite has 15 grams of uranium and thorium (or more) per ton, and a normal large building can have a kg or more in uranium and thorium, which in turn release radon. Hell, one example found that a stone counter-top expo had some "models" with a thousand times the background radiation rate. Makes you think twice about visiting old Europe with all their fancy stones.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

LOL. What would have happened if China did this??

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Boo to Frane 2, they should know better.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I don't think it needed to get blown out of proportion, especially given that Japan won the game, but it was in pretty poor taste regardless of whom it was they were trying to mock. Unfortunately, this won't be the last time we hear 'jokes' about Fukushima when a team is doing badly against Japan.

I'm curious how it 'hampers reconstruction', though.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

WilliB:

Don't think this is about "insult (more associated with pride or beliefs)" as much as it is about possibly hurting the feelings of those who have suffered a great deal and yet to recover. In any event perceptions can differ between cultures or by degree of direct involvement in the experiences in question. Hence the call for some empathy and the need for everyone as mature and civilized human beings to interact based on acceptance and respect towards such differences which is exactly what French TV has done. Don't think J-gov or J-people have anything further to say and all we now need to do is move on.

On your second point, agree this very local TV program would have never caught J-people's attention if it were not for the internet, but nonetheless believe that is aside the point.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Megosaa: In case you have not noticed, international comedy and even everyday life knows it fair share of 9/11 jokes. Black humor it is called, and I find it to be damn funny. If a joke like this is enough to prompt the national government to wrote a letter of protest, then clearly the Japanese government has nothing important to do, and everything must be running butterly smooth.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Sad and unpleasant, indeed. Japan deserves good apologies. However, more and more of this kind of incident will surely be to follow, unless our government seriously ceases to spread contaminated debris and foods to the unaffected part of the nation.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Yeah, this overblown, irrational, national uproar must have taken them all of...what, 30 seconds to phone in?

Just because they print it doesn't mean its news, people. Just because papers with nothing to slap on the headline managed to find a complaint to the station (tell me that doesn't happen a dozen times a day) doesn't mean all of Japan actually gives a yen about it.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

just like asia has China to put up with we here in europe have France!, suppose every continent has one.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Just as everyone is entitled to their own sense of humor whether black humor or not, everyone should be equally entitled to speak up when they feel they are offended. This is exactly what happened here and believe the matter was handled and closed by the relevant parties in quite mature and appropriate fashion. Trust the majority of the J-population can agree to the actions taken by j-government in this particular case while paying full respect to the sincere manner in which the French TV responded. Also believe from seeing the critical comments towards the TV host on the French message boards that not everyone there is laughing over his joke. While humor has the power to transcend different individuals or cultures it can never be forced onto each and everyone, while sharing of one's own feelings (especially when they are hurt) should be encouraged to help develop a mutual understanding between different individuals, between a collective group of different individuals, or between different cultures.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Makes you think twice about visiting old Europe with all their fancy stones.

No it doesn't.

Why is it so necessary for Japanese to be taken 100% seriously all the time by everyone? It's like the whole country suffers from a serious minority complex that doesn't ever go away. Say what you will about the French, at least they have the ability to laugh at themselves. Sometimes.

Look and learn, Japanese.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Four-armed is forewarned

Love it Nessie,

NOW APOLOGIZE!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I think showing Kawashima with 4 arms and saying it was due to the radiation from Fukushima is just in bad, bad taste, but we are NOT the Taliban, are we?? Freedom of speech and all that, cheerioh!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

As I have not read every one's comment and opinion on this, here's what i have to say. Why the big fuzz over some silly unintentional joke? I remember way back when watching Ken Shimura's Drifters ( I think), he would portray himself as praying to God kneeling next to a big crucifix with God and his arms spread out and nailed, there he would say his prayers and for penance a bucket of water would fall right above his head! Nobody made a big deal out of it, and yet that was what we Catholics call blasphemy...I learned to understand now that to each country, to each joke, and to each understanding, and on how you take it!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

If they wanted to mock the French team why didn't they target them instead?

They were not targeted ? WARNING : the following lines are hurtful and hinder the reparation of Fukushima plant :

«Première position du Flop Ten, cette semaine : Didier Deschamps. Eh oui, pour la premiere défaite française sous l'ere Deschamps. On n'avait encore jamais perdu face aux Japonais. C'etait hier soir. Un à zero ! Les Français ont buté sur la défense japonaise, notamment sur le défenseur Konno, nous dit-on. Pourtant, nous, on ne manque pas de conneaux non plus chez les Bleus. Face à Konno, on avait quand même “Cucul” et “Concon” qui n’ont rien pu faire. Mais moi, j’ai quand même un doute : j’ai trouvé très très bon leur gardien de but aux Japonais. Il y aurait un effet Fukushima là-dessous que ça m’étonnerait pas. »

You have an opinion about it ? Yep, Mr Konno's name is homonym with a French equivalent of "aho". As we're at it, why doesn't Gemba ask the Academie Francaise to suppress the word from dictionaries for the respect of all J-people called Konno ? If we translate Ruquier in Japanese that becomes totally PC, still boringly lame and vulgar. That's just a recycling of the story of Godzilla being a product of Hiroshima, well a next episode will be Godzilla in Fukushima. Will J-government ask apologizes ?

. Also believe from seeing the critical comments towards the TV host on the French message boards that not everyone there is laughing over his joke.

Clearly not everybody find Ruquier funny. But if you choose to watch the show, it's as when you choose to watch the wrestling show, you cannot complain that the bad pun master makes lame jokes about everything and everybody, like you cannot complain that the wrestlers are violent and beat the others.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

The Japanese reaction is so disproportioned that get ready for soon coming French sarcastic jokes about Japanese diplomacy. Look especially at the next Charlie Hebdo. I bet it will by far tougher for Japan than this Franco-French joke about Japanese soccer team goalie.

And believe me, that was anything but sincere apologizes. Even though broadcasted, you could feel the smile behind it. It got the total contrary effects - again - in all French speaking countries.

Still many poster do not understand the French culture about subtle - sometimes not obvious - jokes. This is historically coming from the people around the king playing seduction ironically (google it if you are interested). This then was transfer into the popular culture.

The subtle difference between crude/rough and great joke is very difficult to catch. Even French audience is often embarrassed in understanding the real meaning of it. That's part of the game to trigger reflexion. Most of the very famous subtle French jokers are sometimes out of reach for nationals with narrow culture.

Of course sometimes this is a total flop. But that is the charm of spontaneous thinking.

Don't get outraged by this, japanese friends and take care about the really important things re Fukushima. Radioactive material spewed and mutations around Fukushima are scientific facts.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

The Japanese reaction is so disproportioned that get ready for soon coming French sarcastic jokes about Japanese diplomacy.

A complaint letter is a disproportionate response to an inappropriate joke?

And believe me, that was anything but sincere apologizes.

Japan is smart enough to know that the sincerity of the apology never matters in political matters.

Still many poster do not understand the French culture about subtle - sometimes not obvious - jokes.

True. Then again, many people do get the joke, but they just think it is more inappropriate than it is funny. Understanding does not require agreement.

Don't get outraged by this

Really, no one is. The highest level of exchange used here was a complaint email, and the harshest word used was "inappropriate". It really is just as lame an attempt to force headlines as it seems.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

cabadaje: in this joke there were twice two messages: 1) the Japanese goalie was great and 2) Nuke is crap regardless if in Japan or anywhere else. And 2 hidden messages: 1) World Champion France was humiliated by Japanese soccer team and 2) Big French nukes Areva and EDF are crap.

A light thing (soccer) associated with a serious one (nuke threat).

The people who should actually be offended by this joke are 1) French soccer team and 2) big nukes.

I believe the misunderstanding come from the widely spread ostracism of nuke victims in japan. This is absolutely not the objective of this French joke, which was much more compassion to Fukushima people than you can believe.

Fukushima's victims are disappearing from the media radar. Isn't it good that we still talk about them? Has anyone asked them if this joke really would have hurt them with proper context explanation? Actually I would be very happy to see a nuke refugee commenting about it. We might be very surprised by the outcome.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It was a vulgar and distasteful joke. The French make a lot of those without really meaning any harm and they're not too aware how things are 'global' these days. Politically Correctness is an American export that meshes well with Japanese politeness and reserve but it is still something foreign to them. Apologies were made quickly; all this deserves now is to be forgotten or ignored.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

By the way, I consider myself as a Fukushima victim as well. Most/some - who really knows in the general public? - of the food my family eats is contaminated. Thus I am happy that this matter stay at the top of the agenda. And by no way I will ever feel offended by any joke about it if this is the way to keep talking about it.

All people living in Japan are Fukushima's brothers!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Needless to say humor is double-edged by nature. Certain comedians in Japan have been criticized in the past for their way of gaining cheap laughs through targeting and mocking the weak or the oddball of the group, viewed by some to have influenced the youth in the eventual rise and prevalence of the "bullying" culture. The typical excuse of the bullies is that they were only "making fun of" or "playing a joke on" the target and had no intentions of bullying. Typically the target would be criticized by the bullies for over-reacting to the jokes played and lacking the spirit of going along with humor. Only a question of time for the verbal abuse to subsequently escalate. Only the target is able to sense when things are getting out of hand and no longer tolerable. Thus the target should at all times have every right to speak up and communicate the caused discomfort, which should be equally important as the freedom of expression and everyone's entitlement to their own sense of humor.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Here is the translation from the french press release regarding the public apology of France Televisions and Laurent Ruquier :

"We are deeply sorry to have hurt your fellow citizens (...) In this satirical comedy TV show, our host was making fun of the France team football, but before the emoi caused by this evocation, France 2 Television is due to present his regrets and reaffirm all its friendship with the Japanese people. A friendship that occurs regularly in numerous reports and emissions and manifests itself by the excellent relations between NHK Television and France Televisions "

Laurent Ruquier described the controversy as "senseless" and said "At no time did I say any thing about the victims of Fukushima, for whom I have the greatest respect. My joke had two targets: the fact that the football team France was beaten by Japan, and the consequences that could have a nuclear accident "

This humoriste, although known to have a grating humour, was unintentionally indelicate and rude, but believe me this guy has a good heart and is not an evil. But I understand and agree with the Japanese people.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

cabadaje: in this joke there were twice two messages: 1) the Japanese goalie was great and 2) Nuke is crap regardless if in Japan or anywhere else. And 2 hidden messages: 1) World Champion France was humiliated by Japanese soccer team and 2) Big French nukes Areva and EDF are crap.

I can see that interpretation, although I don't completely agree with it. French was my second language.

A light thing (soccer) associated with a serious one (nuke threat).

Yes, connecting the serious to the light is a common humor tactic. Though I do find the term "nuke threat" used here to be overly-dramatic.

The people who should actually be offended by this joke are 1) French soccer team and 2) big nukes.

I won't presume to decide who should be offended for what reason.

I believe the misunderstanding come from the widely spread ostracism of nuke victims in japan. This is absolutely not the objective of this French joke, which was much more compassion to Fukushima people than you can believe.

Doesn't really matter where the misunderstanding came from. Every comedian knows that if you have to explain a joke, it failed. Best thing to do at that stage is apologize and stick it in the past where it belongs.

Fukushima's victims are disappearing from the media radar. Isn't it good that we still talk about them?

Only if you can do it without alienating people. You have seen some of the responses here suggesting the Japanese don't have a sense of humor. Untrue, of course, but that is the sort of response this article has generated. Actions require proportionate response. Chiding a comedian for a joke in bad taste is a proportionate response. Claiming that an entire country is outraged is an exaggeration.

Has anyone asked them if this joke really would have hurt them with proper context explanation?

Probably not. As I mentioned before, this was a situation that probably required a total of about 30 seconds to implement, and was completely forgotten until somebody in the newsroom desperate for a headline saw it.

Actually I would be very happy to see a nuke refugee commenting about it. We might be very surprised by the outcome.

I can't think of any response that would surprise me, short of uncontrolled rage. That would be surprising. More likely would be a slight frown and a change of subject.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Fukushima's victims are disappearing from the media radar. Isn't it good that we still talk about them?

Only if you can do it without alienating people. You have seen some of the responses here suggesting the Japanese don't have a sense of humor. Untrue, of course, but that is the sort of response this article has generated.

Case in point.

OMG, what a loada cry-babies in Japan!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

-1 Good| Bad Ivan CoughanoffalotOct. 17, 2012 - 09:09AM JST

I hope this unpleasant little episode will help to disabuse Japanese women once and for all of the bizarre misapprehension that French things are somehow sophisticated and romantic. Let us now begin our God-given duty of public mockery of all things French.

Yesd, I have noticed that the women like French stuff. too many of our Gallic "friends" in bars around Roppongi in those thin v-neck cardigans (or similar) with adoring little local lovelies hanging on their every word/pout/moue

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

-1 Good| Bad Ivan CoughanoffalotOct. 17, 2012 - 09:09AM JST

I hope this unpleasant little episode will help to disabuse Japanese women once and for all of the bizarre misapprehension that French things are somehow sophisticated and romantic. Let us now begin our God-given duty of public mockery of all things French.

Yesd, I have noticed that the women like French stuff. too many of our Gallic "friends" in bars around Roppongi in those thin v-neck cardigans (or similar) with adoring little local lovelies hanging on their every word/pout/moue

Looks like jealousy, your comments are both stupid. I won't talk about idiot stereotypes about Brits I know, because this is off-topic...

For what I have to say about this story is I'm ashamed about Laurent Ruquier's joke. Now some Japanese people think is a "bad guy" which is unfair, because in past TV shows, he said he likes Japan and even showed his support to an exposition about manga that occured in a museum once. I remember a christmas/new year's day show where he featured sushi and ramen. Now, apologies are good, but what will happen if this kind of jokes are constantly reported via internet and causes diplomatic incident each time?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Megosa

i have yet to see anyone making a joke about 9/11 ...or less you forget?

Ali G. was interviewed on American TV soon after 9/11 attacks and kept referring to the date as "7/11".

Just an FYi.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites