Japan says it will issue a formal protest about a French cartoon in a satirical weekly depicting sumo wrestlers with extra limbs at the Fukushima nuclear plant, according to a BBC report.
The cartoon’s caption reads: “Thanks to Fukushima, sumo is now an Olympic sport”, referring to Tokyo recently being named the host city of the 2020 Summer Olympic Games.
To win their bid for the Olympics, Japan had to overcome fears about the nuclear plant, which was crippled by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
A Japanese spokesman said the cartoon gave a misleading impression about the situation in Japan.
Le Canard Enchaine published the cartoon showing a commentator wearing a nuclear protection suit with two multi-limbed and emaciated sumo wrestlers behind him, and with the nuclear plant in the backdrop.
The satirical weekly also published a picture of two people in nuclear protection suits holding a Geiger counter in front of a swimming pool, and commenting that water sport facilities had already been built at
The French weekly also published a picture of two people wearing nuclear protection suits holding a Geiger counter in front of a pool of water and saying that water sport facilities had already been built at Fukushima.
The triple meltdown at Fukushima was classified as a highest-possible level seven incident on an international scale. The only other nuclear accident ever given that rating was the 1986 Chernobyl incident in the Soviet Union.
Yoshihide Suga, Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary, said the government would file an official complaint with the French magazine.
Mr. Suga said at a news conference, “These kinds of satirical pictures hurt the victims of the disaster,” and added, “This kind of journalism gives the wrong impression about the waste water problem”.
The plant has been plagued by problems since the triple meltdown, such as radioactive water leaks from storage tanks and damaged reactor buildings.
The Japanese government insists it can resolve the numerous issues the plant is facing, and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe assured the International Olympic Committee the situation was “under control”. Image/Reuters