The President of the United States bows before the Emperor of Japan
Obama’s bow to King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia last April produced widespread criticism as a violation of American Republican principle and protocol. Many Americans believe it is profoundly inappropriate for the President of the United States to render honors acknowledging the superiority of any monarch since the American Republic by its Declaration of Independence rejected monarchy and the claim of unelected rulers to reign on the basis of divine authority.
Oddly enough, Obama reserves, it seems, his gestures of supreme respect for Worthy Oriental Gentlemens. He merely nodded to Queen Elizabeth. In the case of Queen Elizabeth, Michelle Obama made gestures in quite the opposite direction, hugging the Queen and later even patting her affectionately on the back.