President Obama’s Speech and Bow in Tokyo, Japan

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What do you think of the speech?

Official_portrait_of_Barack_Obama

Part I

Part II

Part III

Part IV

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Additionally, what do you think of POTUS bowing to the Japanese Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko? Some Americans are angry that he bowed. I’m more upset that he wasn’t informed to either bow or shake hands, not both. I wonder how the Japanese feel to see the Emperor shaking hands?!

President Clinton was bashed when his “no bow” created havoc:

But the “thou need not bow” commandment from the State Department’s protocol office maintained a constancy of more than 200 years. Administration officials scurried to insist that the eager-to-please President had not really done the unthinkable.

White House officials described Mr. Clinton’s tilt as something of an improvisation. Because Emperor Akihito broke with tradition in turn to raise his glass at the state dinner, some even said Mr. Clinton had managed something of a breakthrough.

“Presidents don’t bow, and Emperors don’t toast,” one official said. “So this was a little bit like the cultures meeting each other halfway.”

I feel that President Obama and Emperor Akihito broke the “norm” (the bow and the handshake) and merely showed mutual respect for each other and the country they represent. Being humble can be  a good thing! You don’t alway have to flex to get respect!

1 Comment

  1. Media…Don’t they have anything better to talk about? One TV report said that the Emperor and President spent more than 1.5 hours, so they seemed to have enjoyed each other. That’s all that matters…

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