By Chris Wright
A French television host has incurred the wrath of the Japanese government after making a joke about the devastating 9.0 magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunami that hit Japan in March of 2011, triggering a nuclear meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant – the largest nuclear disaster since Chernobyl in 1986.
Japan snaffled a 1-0 away victory over France on Friday night thanks largely to a string of saves from ‘keeper Eiji Kawashima.
French television channel France 2 then filed a humourous report on the dismal French performance which included a mocked-up photo of Kawashima with four arms, which the host, comedian Laurent Ruquier, signed-off by calling Kawashima’s extra limbs ‘The Fukushima Effect’.
While Ruquier’s quip seemed to get a slightly hesitant laugh from the studio audience, Osamu Fujimura, Japanese politician, member of the House of Representatives and chief cabinet secretary, was altogether less impressed with the host’s repartee, saying: “The comment was completely uncalled for and inappropriate.”
Fujimura also confirmed that the Japanese Embassy had written a letter demanding an apology from France 2 for the remark, which he said had “hurt the feelings of people affected by the disaster” and had “hindered efforts for reconstruction.”
Nice one Laurent.