A French newspaper ran a cartoon Wednesday depicting mutant sumo wrestlers in a reference to the nuclear disaster in Fukushima, Japan.
The image ran by satirical weekly “Le Canard Enchaine,” shows two sumo wrestlers competing in a match. One of the athletes has three arms and the other has three legs and a reporter covering the match says, “Marvellous! Thanks to Fukushima, sumo became an Olympic event.”
The newspaper told a Japanese broadcaster NHK that the cartoon was to express how it was surprised at Tokyo’s successful bid to host 2020 Olympics, despite concerns that the leakage of radioactive material at the crippled Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant has yet to be brought under control. It added that the image was never intended to hurt Japanese people’s feelings.
Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said Thursday that the Japanese embassy will lodge a complaint with the newspaper regarding the cartoon.
"I express sincere regrets about the incorrect report which gives the wrong impression about the contaminated water problem at Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant," Secretary Suga said in a press conference.
Tokyo Electric Power Co., the operator of Fukushima plant, said last week that radioactive water leaking from the facility had seeped into groundwater flowing into the Pacific Ocean.
The South Korean government recently imposed an import ban on all fisheries products from Fukushima and seven other adjacent prefectures in Japan.