olympics

Japanese comedian barred from Olympic run for Cambodia

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© 2012 AFP

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So Neko-chan changed his nationality just so he could qualify for the Olympics? Or did he really want to become Cambodian because he likes the country more, etc.?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Well no, he wouldn't because he used to have Japanese nationality. There is a difference in that. How you can't see that is beyond me.

I don't think you know much about Cambodia is you're trying to make it sound like Japan in terms of homogeneity. and the like. Very diverse country.

Indeed, they based this on the reason. Why Neko, the Cambodian Olympic group and whatever TV company thought this up should have checked the rule book before all this crap happened. Egg on all their faces and rightly so.

So, does Neko have a gaijin card? Has he been fingerprinted? He must be shocked at how foreigners get treated in Japan. Would be great for someone to interview him about it all.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

If you called a black American "African" they'd smack you and rightly so.

I doubt strongly that Neko Hiroshi would smack someone who called him Japanese, even though he got Cambodian nationality last year.

Anyway, Africa is a continent of many nations, Japan is a country.

Also America like I said is a country of immigrants, it is not Japan or Cambodia. It is not the case that what applies in America applies in every other nation in the entire world.

The Olympics have rejected Neko's representing Cambodia for basically this reason, too. They must agree that people can't just change the country that they represent overnight. I think this is a good rule.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Who can seriously say he can be regarded as Cambodian just because he did some such paper work for such a purpose?

And it is exactly this kind of crap thinking which makes me never want to "become" Japanese. Get over it. If you called a black American "African" they'd smack you and rightly so. Neko is "Cambodian" now so when speaking about it, the news agencies should use Cambodian, not Japanese.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

So, does he still have Cambodian nationality?

If he does, does he have to get a visa to be in Japan over 90 days?

Does he have to get a work visa if he intends to do his hilarious comedy in Japan?

Is he a registered alien now?

Will he get stopped and carded if he rides a bike?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Pukey2,

What an insult to those Americans of Japanese ancestry

This issue involves Japan and Cambodia. It has nothing to do with America (which contrary to your disingenous comparison is a nation of immigrants essentially).

Neko Hiroshi has lived almost all of his life in Japan, and as with most such people, he is ethnically Japanese. He changed his nationality to Cambodian for the dubious purpose of running in the Olympic marathon with other more capable atheletes. Who can seriously say he can be regarded as Cambodian just because he did some such paper work for such a purpose?

His attempt to participate at the Olympics through such subversion is not in the spirit of the games, and it is common sense that he was rejected.

As for insulting, I think it is insulting to the Williams sisters and Monica Seles etc that you could compare Neko Hiroshi with them. Think about it.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

I think the tiny bloke did run a marathon in 2 hr 34 min or something - which is pretty damn quick - semi-pro level - but not really serious enough for a nation to "import" as an athlete. If he wasn't a borderline midget - only 145cm - Neko would probably be an elite world-class athlete as he would have a proper stride. Just unlucky to be gifted with an inadequate body I guess.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Apologies, Mr. Takizaki's cat impressions so excited me that I misspelt his name.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

"Kuniaki Takizaki, a TV star renowned for his quirky cat impressions." Ah yes, contemporary Japanese performing arts, worthy of a great and venerable civilisation. My mind runs over with the vastness of them: wearing a pink sweater, being a fat bloke and wearing a dress, wearing large glasses, wearing odd hats with or without glasses, and, are you ready for this mates, gasp! actually eating before a camera are just a few of the talents that have been mastered by some of Japan's finest performing artists. And Mr. Tanizaki's cat impressions!

I see no reason to give him special treatment. He should probably spend some time in Cambodia. But then he wouldn't be able to grace Japan's airways with his cat impressions.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

gyouza:

As a runner he has done an incredible job of raising his game from a 4 hour marathon runner right up to 2h35min mark in a relatively short amount of time - for that I give him his due.

True. In the photo, the guy in the back looks more of a professional runner, but damn, 2h35min is really fast, though not in medal contention.

ihope2murderwhales:

You can change your nationality, you can not change your race/ethnicity. He is Japanese with Cambodian nationality for several months, get over it.

What an insult to those Americans of Japanese ancestry who fought hard to be recognized as first and foremost Americans. Nobody is saying he's not an ethnic Japanese (wajin or whatever), but normally, when you describe someone in sports, you'd say his/her nationality. To me, people like Venus Williams, Michelle Kwan and Monica Seles are American. I wouldn't call them the African, the Chinese woman or the Yugoslavian/Serbian woman.

A better title, as others have said, would be Japanese-born tarento, unless, as tmarie suggests, he never lost his Japanese nationality. Let's wait and see......

tmarie:

Personally and a mid striker as I use vibrams!

Me too (sometimes)!!! I've seen a few people wear them while running or at the gym. The good thing about them is that you get this good pseudo-barefoot experience. The bad thing is that you enjoy it so much you (or at least I) didn't know when to stop and consequently over-trained. Frankly, ordinary shoes have made our bodies lazy and calves under-used.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

There was a guy from Cambodia who ran the Paris marathon quicker than Neko Hiroshi, but he had fallen out with the Cambodian Athletic federation (can't recall why)

The reason was because he wasn't getting nearly enough support to survive off of if he was going to train for the Olympics. Then Neko came into the picture and got a lot of support and a nice new passport. The guy has a right to be pissed off. I just keep wondering if the Cambodian government was given a little present to take Neko on.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

And well, his wife is a japanese national...he can come back to Japan anytime. He is not popular in Japan and he is just a silly trying to be comedian so he grab the opportunity to make something better with his life but well ...sorry for him but I think most Japanese don't want him back either...

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Japal4649 -> haha,true I didnt look at the pic before but that is horrendous....

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

You can change your nationality, you can not change your race/ethnicity.

He is Japanese with Cambodian nationality for several months, get over it.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

From the start this was a disaster waiting to happen. Not being quick enough to qualify for the Japan team, he switched nationalities to get to the Olympics and to fuel interest in himself to keep his cat noise career alive. I think the IAAF should review ALL nationality changes in order to filter out these opportunists. It makes a joke of the games, and could even lead to countries hiring athletes to raise a countries profile (which is why the 12 months rule exists, and why you will have to prove that you lived there for most of that time).

As a runner he has done an incredible job of raising his game from a 4 hour marathon runner right up to 2h35min mark in a relatively short amount of time - for that I give him his due.

There was a guy from Cambodia who ran the Paris marathon quicker than Neko Hiroshi, but he had fallen out with the Cambodian Athletic federation (can't recall why) but in interviews after the race it semed like the only reason he was trying to prove he could qualify was to get publicity - had there been no focus on Neko hiroshi, I doubt if he would have bothered (or at least that's the way it seemed).

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Kuniaki Takizaki, a TV star renowned for his quirky cat impressions

Have you seen this berk? He says "nya" for a living. And moves his hands like kindergarten kids get taught to do when they're playing animals.

I wish I could get on TV with my elephant impression.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Good point Scrote! He isn't legally allowed to be Japanese so don't call him one!

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

This guy should be described as "Japan born" and not "Japanese", as he should have lost his Japanese nationality. Doubtless it will turn out that the "rules" will have been ignored and he will have illegally maintained his Japanese nationality all along.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

That's the problem Smith. If he just gets his Japanese nationality back I will be pissed. He ditched Japanese nationality for a chance at the Olympics and now this? If Japan just gives it back to him I will not be impressed. Jaan really needs to wake up to dual nationality as none of this would be a problem if they offered it.

A stunt. And yes, famous for cat noises??

0 ( +2 / -2 )

It's amazing the ease at which people can just change nationalities and shorten the periods to do so or join major sporting events if they are good athletes and/or celebrities. Let's get your average Joe-Cambodian over here and see if he can get Japanese citizenship and watch what happens.

This was nothing but a publicity stunt for the comedian, and Japan. I bet you a million bucks he can come back anytime and reclaim his Japanese citizenship, or they'll make some exception they would NEVER do for anyone else and allow dual-citizenship... to which he'll make a moronic cat-face and meow thanks.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Same question, would he get his former Japanese citizen back? May be there is one year period before he is eligible to switch back. Miao, miao...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Same question, would he get his formal Japanese citizen back? May be he has to wait ONE YEAR before eligibility to switch back. MIAOO......

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Pukey2, I am wondering if he even gave up his Japanese nationality. Perhaps the government looked the other way? I can't see neko having to get a gaijin card, head to immigration....

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The dude obviously has a passion for running. Gotta respect that.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Yeah, those Cambodians are always dominant in the marathon... wait a minute...

There is a Cambodian runner who has been pushed to the side because of Neko. A little slower than Neko but one that has given his life to training in Cambodia and for Cambodia. There was an article about this last week on JT I believe.

He's a damn good runner.. Have you every seen a crappy runner? "Man, that guy can't run worth shxt." Can't imagine it. You're just saying stuff just to say stuff without thinking. As someone who runs, yes I have seen some bad runners. Messed up form, bowlegged, arms all over the place.... Perhaps you don't know what good form is? Do you just spout of such garbage because you have nothing better to do?

The heel strike is being debate. Personally and a mid striker as I use vibrams!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I have to say, when I first saw this guy, I thought he was in his mid-forties.

I wonder what will happen. Will the government be quick to give him back his nationality if he wants to get it back? I think it'll reflect worse on the government than on this tarento. His running time isn't bad, but how on earth can someone be famous on account of 'cat impressions'???!! Personally, I'd like to see him stick with it, and become a model Cambodian citizen.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

correction: heel-strike

0 ( +0 / -0 )

majority of runners are crappy runners... zero form and just injury waiting to happen. To be able to qualify for any Olympics he has to be DAMN GOOD runner which he is

Well, going by the massive hell-strike he is about to make in the article photo....it appears as though he does not have good running form! That kind of running is an injury waiting to happen!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Erik, yes ... majority of runners are crappy runners... zero form and just injury waiting to happen. To be able to qualify for any Olympics he has to be DAMN GOOD runner which he is and the reason he did the Cambodia route is because it is not that easy to get there in Japan where he has quite a competition. Good luck to him and hopefully he will compete the next Olympics and win.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Nah, this wasn't a stunt. He's been seriously pursuing this and had really hoped to run for Cambodia since he knew he wasn't fast enough to qualify for Japan's team. Poor Neko Hiroshi. "Nyaaaah~!"

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@tmarie

He's a damn good runner.. Have you every seen a crappy runner? "Man, that guy can't run worth shxt." Can't imagine it. You're just saying stuff just to say stuff without thinking.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

the first sentence is incorrect. he changed his citizenship and is now cambodian. AFP's reporting is always quite lax.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

edging out homegrown talent

Yeah, those Cambodians are always dominant in the marathon... wait a minute...

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Just publicity stunt. I want to know what Japan is going to do. Are they just going to give him nationality back? Has he had to get visas to live here like the rest of us? I found this whole thing to be sick and disrespectful. He's a damn good runner but I can't help but think this was cooked up by the TV stations.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Well I'm sure if he continues to compete for the next 4 years, he might have a good chance of qualifying for the next Olympics.

If this was just a big joke/publicity stunt however...

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

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