English is Difficult Language for Some

An email message comes to my inbox as well as my Blackberry Messenger informing the true story of the Japan Prime Minister Yosihiro Mori who made a mistake when speaking in English with the U.S President Barack Obama. It is claimed that those true story came from the Japanese Embassy in the United States.

This is the complete text:

A few days ago, Days ago, Prime Minister Mori received some instructions in Basic English conversation before he visits Washington and meets president Barack Obama…

The instructor told Mr. Mori: When you shake hand with President Obama, please say ‘How are you’. Then Mr. Obama should say, ‘I am fine, and you?‘. And you respond saying: ‘Me too’. Afterwards we, translators, will do the work for you. It seems very simple, but the truth is…

When Mr. Mori met Obama, he mistakenly said ‘Who are you?’ – Instead of ‘How are you?’

Initially, President Obama was a little shocked, but managed to react with humor: ‘Well, I’m Michelle’s husband, ha-ha-ha…’

Then Mr. Mori replied: ‘Me too, ha-ha-ha…’

Then there was a long silence in the meeting room…

In the beginning I believe that the story is really based on the true story. But when I checked that information in the internet, I found the reality that Yosihiro Mori’s term as a Prime Minister of Japan ended on 26 April 2001. Eight years before Barack Obama was elected as U.S President. So that story is only a recycled political joke or a rumor to humiliate Japan leaders.

According to snopes.com, the original version was circulated in mid-2000, during G8 Summit in Okinawa, Japan.  U.S President Bill Clinton attended to G8 Meeting. This is the original text:

Before the G8 Summit in Okinawa, Prime Minister Yosihiro Mori was coached in a bit of English. After meeting with Clinton he was to say “How Are You’. The response was supposed to be “I’m Fine Thank You. And You”. Mori was to answer: Me Too”.  When they actually met, Mori made a small slip up and said “Who are you”. “Clinton replied: I am Hillary’s husband. To which Mori replied ‘”Me too”.


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