Tuesday, July 09, 2002

Nippon Crude!
Japan Today is raising a stink with a story about the press and a member of the Royal Family:
It seems that Prince Takamado, son of Prince Hitachi and the emperor's first cousin, made a three-day visit to South Korea last month to represent Japan at the World Cup, accompanied by his wife. The royal couple spent the final night of their journey at the Lotte Hotel in Pusan.

That evening, his highness took the elevator to the lounge at the hotel's top floor and met the contingent of Japanese reporters who had accompanied his tour for an informal, off-the-record gathering.

The meeting progressed until around 2 a.m., during which time the reporters and their host continued to imbibe alcoholic beverages, one result of which was that the questions posed to his highness became increasingly off the cuff.

One newsman reportedly asked Takamado, "Your highness, what would you say was your most unpleasant encounter with a journalist?"

"Once," the prince replied, "a reporter who had come to interview me broke wind in my presence. Wouldn't you say that was pretty rude?"

Shortly afterwards, Takamado decided to call it a night, and, as is customary in such situations, lined up with the reporters for a commemorative photograph.

At the moment the cameraman said "cheese," there was the unmistakable sound of a loud zephyr emitted from the immediate vicinity.

Considering that the rude blast served as a reminder of the prince's earlier complaint, the photo turned out remarkably well, with everyone in the picture shown giggling and laughing — except Takamado.
It seems the Prince left in a huff and the reportorial sleuths determined that a "Mr. A" was the guilty party.
According to Shukan Shincho, a furious debate ensued among reporters attached to the Imperial Household Agency, between those who defend A's action as "dashing" and "heroic" and others upset over his having "given offense to his majesty."
Mr. A shouldn't worry. He has most of Helen Thomas' act down pat. If he can learn to pen a few pro-terrorist screeds, he can replace her in the White House press corps when she retires.