Cartoons published in French paper trigger Japan’s ire !

One French cartoon, signed by Cabu, shows two skinny sumo wrestler, one with three legs and the other with three arms, and a sportscaster saying “Marvellous ! Thanks to Fukushima, Sumo wrestling has now become an Olympic Discipline…” (Marvellous! Grâce à Fukushima, le combat de sumos est devenu discipline olympique…). Fukushima Daiichi nuclear central is sketched in the background.


The second cartoon, drawn by Mougey, shows two workers wearing hazmat suits and holding a Geiger counter in front of a swimming pool. The legend says “2020 Olympic Games in Japan : the Olympic swimming pool is already built in Fukushima” (JO 2020 au Japon: la piscine olympique est déjà construite à Fukushima)  and one of the protagonists adds: “Maybe we should lift the ban on wetsuits for olympic swimmers” (On va peut-être réautoriser la combinaison pour les nageurs).


This kind of French humour is absolutely not to Japanese people’s liking. “There are people who have really suffered from the impact of radiation and these kinds of drawings hurt them” explains a Japanese journalist. She adds: “It would certainly trigger a huge scandal if those drawing were published in Japanese newspapers”.

These cartoons are mocking the Fukushima nuclear accident in connection with Tokyo’s successful bid to host the 2020 Olympic Games. In its Wednesday edition, the French weekly newspaper ‘Le Canard Enchainé’ rejected Japan’s protest and refused to apologise for publishing the cartoons. The paper also said that since the cartoons were published in its  11th of September 2013 edition, it has received hundreds of threatening emails in both Japanese and English.

(Sources include: Lalibre and Japan Times)


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