Much ado about nothing. I am not a drinker of Obama Kool-Aid, but I do have sense enough to know that the idea that an American President should never bow to another head of state is just arrogant. Protocol should first be studied, then followed. IIn Japan, follow Japanese protocol. When Emperor Akihito visits here, he should not be expected to bow; rather, he should stand erect and shake hands with Obama, because that's customary in the U.S.
That's a long plane ride, and he could have watched a few news clips involving various greetings between Emperor Akihito and other visiting Heads of State. Perhaps he would have learned something. In this case, he just needed to see how the emperor greets others; that's how he should have greeted the emperor -- showing that he believes their positions are equal and that he respects the customs of the Emperor's nation. If anything, Obama just over-achieved on this event, and that made him look foolish in the eyes of those looking for him to look foolish. It did make him look like he needed to study protocol BEFORE a visit, not after he gets raked over the coals by his detractors.
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