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American diplomacy is never without controversy, but who would have imagined that the standard protocol of a bow to the Japanese Emperor from U.S. President Barack Obama would have caused such a fuss?

Apparently, many rightwing critics in America complained that Mr. Obama bowed too low to the Emperor. Those America-centric conservatives took Mr. Obama’s bow as a signal of America’s weakness. Japan and most of the rest of the world saw that bow for what it was — a sincere gesture of respect and a step toward healthier relations.

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