The Straits Times
Published on Oct 17, 2012

French broadcaster apologises to Japan over Fukushima gag


PARIS (AFP) - The head of France 2 television apologised on Tuesday to Japan after a presenter's gag showed the Japanese national football team's goalkeeper with four arms and linking that to the "Fukushima effect".

After Eiji Kawashima helped Japan to a 1-0 victory over France in a friendly last week, a variety programme screened by France 2 showed a mock-up of the keeper with four arms, apparently in praise for him having kept a clean sheet.

But host Laurent Ruquier quipped that the extra limbs were due to "the Fukushima effect", a reference to the radiation leaks that spewed from the tsunami-crippled nuclear power station in March 2011.

The incident prompted an official complaint from Tokyo, with Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura describing it as "inappropriate" and saying it "hurt the feelings of survivors and hampers efforts toward reconstruction".