Wednesday, May 29, 2013

US State Department's Response to Osaka Mayor's So-Called "Apology": Nothing but Unspoken Disdain

The State Department Acting Deputy Spokesperson Patrick Ventrell said they don't comment on the remarks by a mere local official in a foreign country.

From Daily Press Release transcript at the US State Department (5/28/2013), "Comments by Local Official" (emphasis is mine):



QUESTION: Osaka Mayor Hashimoto retracted his remarks that U.S. servicemen in Okinawa should use the adult entertainment industry to avoid the sex crimes, and he apologized to the Americans and the U.S. military. Do you have any comment?

MR. VENTRELL: Well, we’ve addressed his comments previously and really don’t have anything new to add. The one thing I’ll say is that we can’t be commenting on every state and local and provincial official around the world when they make outlandish or offensive or reprehensible comments. So we really can’t say much more beyond that. This is a local official.

QUESTION: Just one more: He canceled his U.S. trip. You have anything to say on his --

MR. VENTRELL: Again, I’m not going to comment on every move or action of some local official. We’ve been clear that the U.S.-Japan alliance remains strong, and we’re committed to that alliance.

QUESTION: Okay. So does that mean that the bar has got to be – it’s got to be a national official? A mayor doesn’t do it for you, but if the guy’s a cabinet minister or a --

MR. VENTRELL: When we have concerns --

QUESTION: -- member of parliament or something like that, then you’ll talk more?

MR. VENTRELL: When we have concerns about somebody at the national level who’s made comments that are disparaging or difficult, we may make a comment.

QUESTION: Can you – where is the bar?

MR. VENTRELL: Well, again, my point being, Matt, is that there are hundreds and thousands of mayors and local officials around the world. We can’t respond to every single one of them.

QUESTION: Yes. Are there hundreds of thousands of local mayors around the world that run a municipality where there are large amounts of U.S. troops?

MR. VENTRELL: Are you trying to make some broader connection about the importance of the mayor of --

QUESTION: I’m saying that I think the mayor of Okinawa – right? That’s who we’re talking about?

MR. VENTRELL: No, this is the mayor of Osaka.

QUESTION: Oh, mayor of Osaka, okay. I stand corrected.

MR. VENTRELL: I was trying to figure out which American troops were in Osaka, but --

QUESTION: I apologize. So, okay – all right, well, if the mayor of Okinawa said something, would that not meet your bar?

MR. VENTRELL: (Laughter.) Now we’re going into wild hypotheticals here.

Ouch. And the reporter thought Hashimoto was the mayor of Okinawa... Ouch.

700 people have petitioned in four days to disbar Mayor Hashimoto from the Osaka Bar Association, and the the Association says it is quite surprised at this unprecedented event, reports Kouta Kinoshita (who is apparently at the press conference of the Bar Association).


Anonymous said...

So Japan as a has-been economic animal, never a diplomatic diplodocus, to say the least.
I didn't want to stress that point in previous comments, but now it's here.
Whatever the mere lack of knowledge by US people, the conclusion is clear : We don't bother about what Osaka's Mayor might be thinking or saying.
Yes it takes some experience and intelligence to have your voice heard world-wide, when you're not at the top level of power.


Anonymous said...

The conversation is to illustrate just how unimportant a worm's doo doo like Hashimoto is.

Anonymous said...

This Brainiac reporter also illustrates how at times the Fourth Estate (main media press) is dumber than a mesquite stump.

Even with all the Tinfoil Tommies and Florence Flamers on the Fifth Estate (the bloggers)there is still at least a few Internet bastions of intellectual intercourse (present company enrolled).

The Main Stream Media is the diseased leper that feeds off crumbs from Big Brother. BB despises them even as the bureaucrats utilize the press to maintain control of the somnambulant slaves (yes, you may not get whipped, but you are a 21st century slave).

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