It’s the lack of thought that counts.

One of the enduring figures of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics has to be Mayor Takashi Kawamura of Nagoya City, Aichi Prefecture. After the sporting event concluded, the mayor met with gold-medalist Miu Goto of the Japanese women’s softball team. After pleasantries were exchanged, the two stood in front of reporters for a standard photo op, and this was when the mayor made the grave mistake of jokingly biting Goto’s medal, as an athlete might on the podium. The act drew a lot of criticism, mainly because Kawamura is not a world-class athlete but the leader of 2.3 million people during a highly infectious pandemic.

▼ Lest we forget

In the backlash that ensued, Kawamura publicly apologized and took a three-month pay cut as penance. He also promised to attend sensitivity training not only for the bite heard round the world, but for awkward questions and comments about Goto’s dating life during the meeting.

However, none of this seems to have stemmed the flow of complaints streaming into City Hall. According to the city, about 15,000 protests were received as of 20 August. It’s all enough to interfere with the daily operation of the municipal affairs, and for that Mayor Kawamura apologized to staff by issuing the following…er, Vicodin prescription?

“The apology from Mayor Takashi Kawamura is handwritten, but the penmanship…”

While pushing the very limits of legibility, Kawamura’s letter is clearly hastily written and seems to frequently forego even the basic-level kanji characters that adults are expected to use in written communication, possibly because he knew they would be impossible to read if he did. The mayor gave copies of the letter to his cabinet on 23 August, asking them to pass it along to all members of their respective departments.

It reads:

“To all Nagoya City employees,
I’d like to take this time to apologize for the gold medal incident that I caused. It has created a lot of trouble for you to receive the many emails and phone calls. This is all my wrongdoing. I sincerely apologize for the inconvenience.
End of message”

Kind of hits you right here, doesn’t it? They do say that handwritten notes are more polite that typed, but that’s because it shows the extra level of effort in writing a message by hand – a nuance that seemed lost on the mayor.

After drying their eyes from reading this heartfelt chicken scratch, readers of the letter online had a lot to say about it.

“I’m beginning to think maybe he isn’t really sorry…”
“Maybe he thought writing it that way would show his humanity.”
“He said nothing and did it in the laziest way possible.”
“If he handed this in at school the teacher would smack him.”
“This screams insincerity.”
“The best apologies always close with ‘end of message.'”
“He understands what he did wrong, doesn’t he?”

One Twitter user also graciously corrected Mayor Kawamura’s letter like a teacher might a high school student’s assignment. Aside from some word choice complaints such as the inappropriate closing, places where kanji should have been used instead of the phonetic hiragana script that Kawamura opted for was also marked, with asterisks indicating the level of education the kanji should have been learned at such as 小3 (3rd grade elementary school) and 中学 (junior high).

So it would seem in addition to sensitivity training, a few weeks at one of Nagoya’s fine cram schools would be in order for Kawamura to brush up on his penmanship and writing skills as he continues to dig himself deeper into an already Olympic-sized hole.

End of article

Source: Tokyo Shimbun, My Game News Flash
Top image: ©SoraNews24
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