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Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is currently making a diplomatic visit to the United States, where he was received by President Barack Obama. The two heads of state recently appeared before the press in a ceremony where the American President reiterated the importance of cooperation between the two countries, and also thanked Japan for all that cool anime.

Abe and his wife Akie made their official visit to the White House on April 28. Before entering, Obama gave a welcoming speech in his world-famous front yard, saying it was “a great honor” to welcome his guests as representatives as one of the United States’ most important allies.

Later, Obama added:

“Today is also a chance for Americans, especially our young people, to say thank you for all the things we love from Japan, like karate, and karaoke, manga, and anime, and of course, emoji.”

▼ Video of the event, via Mashable’s YouTube channel

While some may disapprove of such a lighthearted tone in the sphere of international politics, Obama neither opened with the statement, nor was it the crux of his speech. He later went on to talk about how his meeting with Abe mirrored one in 1960 between former President Dwight Eisenhower and then-Prime Minister Nobusuke Kishi, Abe’s grandfather, in which the two leaders signed a landmark security treaty.

There’s also no arguing that the sort of soft cultural exports Obama mentioned do much to personalize a foreign country in the minds of young people, which plays an immense role in fostering international goodwill and cooperation.

▼ Video games were snubbed, but that’s probably because Obama is miffed that there’s still no sequel to From Software’s Metal Wolf Chaos, in which the President of the United States puts down a coup and fights aliens in a heavily armed powered suit.

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But while there’s little room to criticize Obama’s words, the same can’t necessarily be said of his pronunciation, especially how emoji becomes “imoji,” and his flubs are apparently so grievous they cause a bird in the video to take wing and flee the scene. Maybe next time the American executive branch needs to make an official statement on otaku culture, it should come from passionate Love Liver Joe Biden.

Source: YouTube via Anime Nation user ZeroRyoko1974
Top image: YouTube
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