Japan news

Japan fury over Fukushima remark

October 16, 2012
By ESPN staff

A French television host has caused anger in Japan after showing a mocked-up picture of goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima with four arms and describing it as the "Fukushima effect".

Eiji Kawashima JApan
PA PhotosGoalkeeper Eiji Kawashima

France 2 anchorman Laurent Ruquier referred to the 2011 nuclear disaster, triggered by an earthquake and tsunami, as he praised Kawashima's performance in Japan's 1-0 friendly win over France on Friday.

His remark, greeted by laughter from his studio audience, drew a furious response from Japan's chief cabinet secretary, Osamu Fujimura, who described it as "inappropriate".

The Japanese embassy in France has written a letter of complaint to the TV channel, saying the host's remark "hurts the feelings of people affected by the disaster and hinders efforts for reconstruction".

More than 15,000 people died in the earthquake and tsunami, which damaged the Fukushima nuclear plant and caused equipment failures, nuclear meltdowns, andt he releases of radioactive materials in the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl in 1986.