Vladimir Putin doesn’t bow
HotAirPundit demonstrates that he-men heads of state don’t bow to Akihito.
OTOH, Kathy Kattenburg thinks caring about these kinds of issues (Republic vs. Monarchy, Government by Consent vs. Divine Right) makes you a “yokel.” For her, politically correct guilt over Harry Truman dropping the bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki trumps these formal considerations. We bombed Akihito’s country and defeated it. Obviously, the poor soul cries himself to sleep every night over what my father’s generation did to his countrymen. The least Obama can do is grovel to him in compensation.
The Politico channels the explanation:
A senior administration official said President Barack Obama was simply observing protocol when he bowed to Japanese Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko upon arriving at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo on Saturday.
â€œI think that those who try to politicize those things are just way, way, way off base,â€ the official said. â€œHe observes protocol. But I donâ€™t think anybody who was in Japan â€“ who saw his speech and the reaction to it, certainly those who witnesses his bilateral meetings there â€“ would say anything other than that he enhanced both the position and the status of the U.S., relative to Japan. It was a good, positive visit at an important time, because thereâ€™s a lot going on in Japan.â€
Gilbert and Sullivan put it better:
If you want to know who we are,
We are gentlemen of Japan:
On many a vase and jar–
On many a screen and fan,
We figure in lively paint:
Our attitude’s queer and quaint–
You’re wrong if you think it ain’t, oh!
If you think we are worked by strings,
Like a Japanese marionette,
You don’t understand these things:
It is simply Court etiquette.