French TV host Laurent Ruquier showed this composite picture of Japan national team goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima with four arms, describing it as the "Fukushima effect." / YouTube
PARIS A French television host has caused outrage in Japan after showing a mocked-up picture of national team goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima with four arms and describing it as the "Fukushima effect."
Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura said Tuesday that the Japanese embassy in France has sent an official letter of complaint to TV station France 2 after host Laurent Ruquier made the gag on a program. Ruquier's comment drew laughter and applause in the studio (watch clip below).
Sports and Education Minister Makiko Tanaka says ''all this clearly lacks sensitivity. Many people were affected by the nuclear crisis. I don't even know how people can laugh at it.''
Ruquier made the comment after Japan's 1-0 victory over France in a soccer friendly in Paris last Friday.
More than 15,000 people died, while 3,000 are still missing after last year's earthquake and resulting tsunami, which severely damaged the Fukushima nuclear plant, causing the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl in 1986.
According to Reuters, Kawashima, who plays in Belgium, was taunted during a game last year when opposition fans chanted "Kawashima, Fukushima!"