Japan beat France 1-0 at the Stade de France on Friday, a surprising result that the French don’t seem to be dealing with very well, if the humor of TV host Laurent Ruquier is anything to go by. Ruquier, while ostensibly praising the performance of Japan keeper Eiji Kawashima, mentioned the “Fukushima Effect” (a reference to the nuclear disaster caused by last year’s tsunami) while an altered image of Kawashima with four arms flashed on the screen. The Japanese are not pleased.
On Tuesday, Japan’s chief cabinet secretary Osamu Fujimura called Ruquier’s remark, a reference to last year’s nuclear crisis in Fukushima, “inappropriate”. He added that the Japanese Embassy in France had sent a letter of protest to the TV station France 2. The letter said the remark “hurts the feelings of people affected by the disaster and hinders efforts for reconstruction,” Fujimura added.
The correct response to Ruquier’s ill-advised joke is “too soon.” It’s just too soon, Laurent.