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Hi Hillary

28 Comments

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, greets Empress Michiko prior to tea at Imperial Palace in Tokyo on Sunday.

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I'm not sure but isn't that a gross breach of protocol on Hillary's part? Didn't her aide advise her she should just shake hands?

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Given the situation in Japan and the reason Hillary came to Japan, I think it calls for something a bit more than a hand shake protocol and so Empress Michiko probably really appreciated it (and I'm sure she was informed this was going to happen).

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Great to see this picture

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I think that poor, harassed empress needs a lot of human skin-ship.

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should that old lady really be codling up to the US Sec of State like that?

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No doubt it will ruffle a few feathers in the royal household, but I reckon the Empress herself didn't care, all things considered.

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The Japanese are very aware of western tradition and it's perfectly ok for Mrs. Clinton to greet Empress Michiko with a bit of affection that shows care and concern. After all Crown Princess Michiko has made visits to over forty countries since her enthronement. She has official duties of receiving official guests including State Guests. A couple hundred yearly. She also received an education at Harvard University in the United States and the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom, which helped her become fluent in English. Therefore she's obviously quite familiar with different cultures and well-read concerning proper etiquette and manners.

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Am curious to see the expression on the face of the Empress.

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Powerful women in public eyes can only turn to each other for camaraderie, however brief it may be.

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I seem to remember something similar happening last time Hillary met Empress Michiko- she apparently has a lot of respect for the Empress and they get on well- I doubt the Empress was surprised or offended at all.

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Even if both ladies are comfortable with so familiar a greeting, I'm surprised the IHA allowed it to take place in front of the cameras.

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It looks as though the Empress is trying to keep Hillary from grabbing her. The Secretary of State is getting a little too intimate and touchy given that I doubt the two have met more than a few times in their lives.

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Great photo.

Special moment.

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They've actually been friends for quite a long time(Early Prez Bill days) and apparently always kept in touch.

So nothing special here.

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Hillary is so beautiful. Great photo!!

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Longevity Japan-US relationship - two generations to meet. Great Hilary and Empress Michiko!

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Interesting selection of the use of this particular photo since, even though the Empress and Ms. Clinton are in a perfect setting, His Royal Highness the Emperor is totally shadowed out...

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Quite allowable - Empress Michiko was a commoner who married 'up', the Emperor was always ... the Emperor.

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Japan is in a stronger position for having a friend like the United States of America, not perfect, who is, but wow. Stand by your man or what?

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I think that poor, harassed empress needs a lot of human skin-ship.

LOL....ooops warai sugi...

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oops, so much for preping people how to greet the royals, when in Rome anyone

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If any of you who feel Ms Clinton has done a faux-pas please watch the footage of the greeting, the Empress moves into the Secretary of State first, they are obviously comfortable with greeting each other in this way. Crikey, it's either 'Too formal' AKA when Mr Obama bowed to the Emperor or... this! Which do you want?

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Which do you want?

......................

personally I always prefer touchy feely ( with ladies, mind )

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The IHA should advise to have these situations not photographed publicly. Protocols should be adhered to since this photo can be interpreted as a political act. This opens up the Empress to greet other female foreign ministers in this way or it may be interpreted as a diplomatic slight. This is an error on the part of the IHA to have the photo publicly shown - in fact, should not be photographed.

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@YongYang:

Stand by your man or what?

Like any good little feminist, Hillary will always stand by her man no matter what they do.

Hillary sure has aged a lot in the last few years - must be in about her mid-60's or so now. The constant travel of a Secretary of State hasn't been kind to her.

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Can't win. Obama gets in trouble for bowing too low, now Clinton gets in trouble for being too touchy/kissy.

Maybe they both just did what they felt like. And in both cases it's not Japanese who are offended but a few Americans. That's the strangest thing.

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Outsiders can react with different opinions, but we don't know what Mrs. Clinton said to Japanese Empress Michiko. For the Emperor, he was watching the audience then. The whole video clip or documentary film about this meeting can explain more. But honestly the photographer shot the great picture with a great angle. If people don't know about Mrs. Clinton and Japanese Empress in person and media, they can think this picture about any family reunion or family greeting procedures.

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Folks harping on ths supposed lack of following protocol by Clinton are barking up the wrong tree, and are missing the whole point. First off, if you saw the whole clip on NHK last night, you would see that it was clearly the Empress who initiated the "kiss" on the two cheeks. Second, Mrs. Clinton has been a friend of the Empress dating back about fifteen years to her husband's presidency. IMO this is a great shot of two friends greeting each other, one offering moral support in the midst of tragedy, and one showing strength and class in accepting it.

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