lundi 2 mai 2011

Japan: Tokyo's mayor accused of insulting the French.

In July 2005, Ishihara Shintaro (74), mayor of Tokyo has pursued populist insulting the French language.
         Twenty-one teachers and translators and French Canadians complain that the mayor, declaring October 19, 2004 at a public meeting in Tokyo: "French is a language unfit for calculation, it is quite normal that she be disqualified as international language."
          In December 2007, a Tokyo court dismissing the complaint said that "these remarks, even if they caused a feeling of discomfort among French-speaking people, have not caused damage to the social status of complainants."
"I am disappointed by this ruling," said Malik Berkane, one of the complainants who runs a language school in Tokyo. "France is insulted, insulted the French language is, teachers are insulted, and there is no defamation. So that means that Mr. Ishihara can say anything, all he wants," he said after the verdict.
          The plaintiffs claimed each 500,000 yen (3,000 euros) in damages and publish an apology by the mayor in four newspapers.
          They recalled that 180 million people worldwide have French as their mother tongue and that "one of the official languages ​​of the UN and many international institutions."
          Novelist, author of bestsellers and mayor of Tokyo since 1999, Mr. Ishihara, 74 years old then, became famous worldwide with a virulent anti-American pamphlet, "Japan without complex" in 1989.
          The cities of Paris and Tokyo have signed pacts of friendship and cooperation since 1982.
          It is estimated at 200,000 the number of people learning the French in Japan: 90% of them are university students, 4% of high school and 6% of adults.

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