Applause for Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda

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Queen Elizabeth II has started a trend in YouTube holiday greetings from world leaders. Now Prime Minister of Japan Yasuo Fukuda has offered his (click image above).
I know that many will not share my enthusiasm for Prime Minister Fukuda’s New Year’s Greeting because it’s not the most charismatic presentation one could imagine — but just picture George Bush trying to issue his salutations in Japanese. Ok, stop — I know it’s tough. But Fukuda does it all in English — and does so in a way that we can focus on the important substance of his message.
But seriously, Fukuda provides a stark and refreshing contrast to both of Japan’s hawkish, immediate past prime ministers, Shinzo Abe and Junichiro Koizumi. Fukuda offers a message of “cooperation,” and of Japan as the “Peace Cooperation State.” When Fukuda discusses terrorism, he talks about the importance of providing soft-power like aid to disadvantaged people.
Fukuda’s performance is very impressive — and may signal the return of Japan to the kind of state that was strongly promoting global institutions and a kind of sovereignty that derived from embedded multilateralism in contrast to Japan becoming the kind of bland, ordinary nation that simply applauded American arbitrariness in the war against Iraq.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

5 comments on “Applause for Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda

  1. Bernard says:

    At the least he is trying to improve Japan’s image in a positive way. In Japan, people either do not know english or do not speak english for fear of the accents but he is brave enough to take up the challenge and honestly even though there are some parts which I could not hear him clearly, I do see his sincerity and efforts to reach to the other nations.

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  2. Bernard says:

    At the least he is trying to improve Japan’s image in a positive way. In Japan, people either do not know english or do not speak english for fear of the accents but he is brave enough to take up the challenge and honestly even though there are some parts which I could not hear him clearly, I do see his sincerity and efforts to reach to the other nations.

    Reply

  3. DonS says:

    It is an impressive effort, with important content.
    On the “environment”, which the Prime Minister emphatically stressed, I do wish the Japanese were willing to extend the sense of enlightment to the whale population of our planet.

    Reply

  4. John Robert BEHRMAN says:

    Sadly, there is no effective collaboration among Liberal Democrats, only state capitalists and terrorists.
    ::JRBehrman

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  5. CTown Architect says:

    Pfftt, Bush managed to screw things up when with the Queen of England, and that was using his supposed first language. The idea of how badly he could screw things up attempting to speak in Japanese makes my head hurt…

    Reply

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