Claim: The Japanese prime minister made an embarrassing verbal gaffe upon meeting U.S. president Barack Obama.
Example: [Collected via e-mail, June 2009]
A few days ago, Prime Minister Mori was given some basic English conversation training before he visits Washington and meets President Barack
The instructor told Prime Minister Mori, "When you shake hand with President Obama, please say 'How are you?' Then
It looks quite simple, but the truth is ...
When Mori met Obama, he mistakenly said 'Who are you?' (instead of 'How are you?').
Mr. Obama was a bit shocked but still managed to react with humor: 'Well, I'm Michelle's husband,
Then Mori replied, 'Me too,
Then there was a long silence in the meeting room.
Origins: The first thing an astute follower of politics might notice about this humorous anecdote is it would have been rather unusual for Yoshiro Mori to be making a trip to Washington, D.C., to meet with Barack Obama, since Mori's term as prime minister of Japan ended in
When they actually met, Mori made a small
Clinton replied, "I'm Hillary's husband." To which Mori replied, "Me too."
"When I was greeting farmers from my car, they all went into their homes. I felt like I had AIDS," he said.
And in February, he caused further embarrassment when describing security problems the United States faced from the Y2K computer bug.
"When there is a blackout, the murderers always come out. It's that type of society,"
He had previously sparked controversy by saying that some teachers were controlled by communists.
Last updated: 13 February 2015
Ueno, Hisako and John Glionna. "Taro Aso Is Named Japan's Prime Minister." Los Angeles Times. 23 September 2008. BBC News. "Japanese PM Sparks Holy Row." 16 May 2000. BBC News. "Profile: Yoshiro Mori." 20 November 2000. Mainichi Shimbun. "70% Want Mori to Quit Post." 12 December 2000.