More than two years after the nuclear accident in Fukushima, the recovering prefecture has once again found itself in the national spotlight. First, the country mourned together when Fukushima hero Yoshida Masao passed away. Immediately afterward, the internet community was united in outrage when former prime minister Kan Naoto announced his plans to sue Abe Shinzo for defamation over the Fukushima disaster , seemingly taking advantage of Yoshida’s death to rebuild his own reputation.
Now, netizens are shocked that a Korean entertainer made a joke about the radioactivity of food grown in Fukushima. It seems the joke got positive feedback from the Korean media and internet community, and the Japanese media hasn’t given it much coverage at all. Regardless of the entertainer’s intentions, people are worried that joking about the Fukushima incident might harm an agriculture industry that is still suffering from widespread misinformation about the safety of the food grown in the region. The hurt and angry responses from Japanese netizens indicate that it is still far too soon for the Fukushima nuclear accident to taken lightly.
From Yahoo! Japan:
”Japanese People Should Eat Healthy Fukushima Cherries” – Korean Papers Applaud Performer’s Reckless Joke About Radioactivity
In response to a banner held up at a soccer match between Japan and Korea, a perform on a Korean television program performed jokes that ridiculed Japan and referenced the nuclear accident in Fukushima. For example, he said “I sent those cheering Japanese fans some cherries grown in Fukushima!”
The program was the episode of “Gag Concert” shown on the Korean public broadcasting channel KBS2 on August 4th, 2013. On that day, the Korean comedian Kwak Beom (26) made an appearance and immediately began remarking on the match between Korea and Japan.
■ If the Korean MC Tries to Eat Them…
According to the Korean newspapers that reported on the program, such as Sports Chosun and the Dong-a Ilbo, Kwak began by saying, “Even though Korea lost the match to Japan, the support for both teams was a great image.” He continued, “The Japanese fans were even waving the rising sun flag as they cheered. So, I sent them a present.” At the same time, he took some cherries out of his pocket. “They’re healthy Fukushima cherries.”
Cherries are Fukushima prefecture’s most famous local specialty. It seems he was trying to say they were contaminated with radioactivity from the Fukushima nuclear accident. Incidentally, Fukushima prefecture has released an official announcement that Fukushima cherries are safe to eat.
In response to this “gag,” the venue erupted into explosive laughter. When another actor said, “I’ll eat them, too,” and reached for the cherries, Kwak stopped him, saying, “’Shindo Fuji’ (Buddhist saying meaning that local food is most compatible with local people), right? This is food that only those people must eat.”
■ Korean Newspaper: “A Forceful Jab at Rude Japan”
These words are like pouring salt in the wounds of the people putting all their energy into reconstructing local agriculture as the Fukushima region continues to suffer financial damage due to the spread of misinformation after the nuclear accident. However, Kwak is received even more applause in return.
The Korean media is uniformly reporting favorably about the joke, with statements such as, “It was a forceful jab at rude Japanese fans.” On the Internet, there are some voices expressing criticism like, “Say what you like, but that statement was dangerous for foreign affairs.” Even so, the joke seems to be generally popular within Korea, with Internet reactions including “I was refreshed by that sarcastic joke” and “The Fukushima cherry joke was thrilling.”
Comments from Yahoo! Japan:
I can’t make friends with a nation like this.
Proof that they’re going, “Let’s celebrate the Tohoku earthquake!” without any reflection. Until now, I would not have believed there was speech or behavior desecrating the victims of the disaster, even from China or North Korea. Koreans, I will not forgive you bastards!
We can’t ever become good neighbors with Korea.
No dignity. No morals. Low standards. No human rights. Thoughts and values from the old world. To say it clearly, their education is lacking.
So now can’t we sever diplomatic relations immediately? That’s the best thing for both countries.
So, they’re that type of people.
Do you understand what Korean’s anti-Japanese thoughts are like now?! We have it carved in our hearts that we are Japanese people, and we must never forget it! Korean society is completely organized around the principle of anti-Japanese discrimination.
It’s not just that they lost the match, but showing the vulgar banner, and moreover what this asshole performer said… It’s the final layer of embarrassment. (笑) When the Korean media is supporting these guys dancing around with delirious Korean nationalism, of course the Korean cultural standards will be questioned.
Just soccer? When the jeering ridicule started flying, the Japanese players protested fiercely. Isn’t anyone going to protest this time? Won’t you protest for us? Shouldn’t the Japanese government say something? Anyways, I want them to cut diplomatic relations with Korea.
I’m a resident of Fukushima, and from now on I don’t want to buy or consume any kimchi, nori, soju, instant ramen, or any other Korean products. They really are all pain and no gain! The worst people! I want to destroy the entire country quickly along with Samsung!
The major media hasn’t picked up this story. It’s because there are a lot of Koreans inside companies in the mass media business world. It’s important to spread this story to as many people as possible. This nation’s entire identity is their hatred of Japanese people.
I have to admire this country’s total lack of brains.
What a childish nation. It seems they’re never satisfied until they involve Japan somehow.
The company profiting from this and calling people like this “talent,” arent’ they embarrassed? The people working at the company and managers at the corporations that do business with a company like this, aren’t they embarrassed?
There’s nothing as delicious as a Fukushima cherry. We can’t export them to Korea. We can’t let Koreans eat them. It would be a waste. Also these Korean performers are mocking Japan in Korea and then making money in Japan, so we have to prohibit the broadcast of these people’s TV appearances and meaningless Korean-language movies, or at least start a movement to not watch them.
The Japanese media should be broadcasting this story right away. And reporting how Korean food products are full of E.coli bacteria!
It’s not just the problem with the banner at the match between Japan and Korea, but we shouldn’t have a relationship with Japanese people who oppose Japan in all things. We should have immediate enforced deportation of all Zainichi Koreans, and cut diplomatic relations. Even if we sever our relationship with Korea, there will be no effect on Japan.
The Korea-loving people’s Mr. Abe probably won’t do anything, and will probably just tolerate Korea’s effective control of Takeshima. Abe’s proactive diplomacy is incredible, but when it comes to political measures against Korea, we can’t do anything to acknowledge it.
Ignore, ignore. They’re the number one country we won’t partner with.