When cartoons don’t go our way

Regarding the Sept. 14 Bloomberg article “Japan to protest Olympic cartoons” (carried by French satirical newspaper Le Canard Enchaine): The article makes some of the differences between Japanese and French society quite apparent.

We know that satirical cartoons use humor to show faults or weaknesses. But some of us cannot admit that the [published cartoons poking fun at Tokyo hosting the 2020 Olympics in the aftermath of the Fukushima nuclear disaster] are worthwhile.

Satire should either elicit our admiration or please us. We expect the newspaper editors to be sympathetic to our concerns irrespective of individual preferences and the social circumstances. I’m sorry that we find insolence, instead of a high degree of excellence displayed in the satire.

Yet, we are ready to accept illustrations that express general envy of our well-ordered society. Our own ideals match our aspirations and talents; however, without self-respect and respect of others, nothing may seem worth doing.

The rivalry for hosting the Olympics likely aroused particularly strong feelings of envy. Still, the Olympics is a festival for people who believe in peace.

noriko fujita
ako, hyogo

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.

  • Paul

    I’m not sure if this letter is serious or an attempt at satire. Surely you aren’t serious that people should only be allowed to write things that please you. The Olympics may be a ‘festivals of people’ but you certainly show that it is more important to be Japanese first and a human being second. Not everyone who says something critical about Japan or Japanese public figures is insulting you personally. Also I doubt they are envious of your well ordered society or hosting the Olympics, there is good and bad in every society and it doesn’t mean that we are envious of you if we point out either. If Japan wants to host the Olympics and be a member of the international community the occasional criticism is the price for entry. If we criticize the handling of nuclear disaster it doesn’t mean that we hate you. Japanese media is full of narcissistic navel gazing which obsessively seeks the opinion of the rest of the world as long as they only give you praise, as soon as criticism is aired it accuses the outside world of insensitivity or racism. It is immature and vain.