Japan criticised the satirical French paper Le Canard Enchaine on Thursday for publishing cartoons sarcastically linking radiation leaks at a damaged nuclear power plant to the 2020 Olympic Games due to be held in Tokyo.

“The report was inappropriate and deplorable,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a news conference.

The government would lodge a protest with the weekly paper through the Japanese Embassy in Paris, Suga said.

The paper ran an article with two cartoons on Wednesday, one of which depicted a sumo bout near a damaged nuclear power plant between a wrestler with three arms and the other with three legs.

In the cartoon, a reporter also said, “Marvellous! Thanks to Fukushima, sumo has been included among Olympic events.” The other cartoon showed a swimming pool with two people in protective gear, holding a radiation measuring instrument, with a title, “There is already a pool in Fukushima for the Olympics.” This was an apparent allusion to pools storing radioactive water at Fukushima.

On Saturday, Tokyo was chosen to host the 2020 Games despite mounting concerns about leaks of radiation-contaminated water at the Fukushima plant.


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