Tokyo, Japan – Barack Obama faced the most embarrassing diplomatic standoff to date in his years as U.S. President. It happened during his visit to Japan, the first leg of his multi-nation tour of Asia.
Obama’s advisers sure did a good job in briefing him about Japanese culture and etiquette, so the president knew that a “bow” was the appropriate greeting when meeting with dignitaries and the Japanese people. So when he was introduced to Asimo, the robot at Miraikan, Japan’s major science center located in Daiba, Tokyo, he did what he was supposed to do: bow his head. To his surprise, Asimo didn’t return his bow, but instead offered its robotic arm looking for a handshake, the American way of greeting. Obama froze and didn’t know what to do. And neither did Asimo.
The rest is history. The meeting has now been dubbed as the worst diplomatic standoff ever encountered by a sitting U.S. president.
To diffuse the awkward situation, officials at Miraikan asked Asimo to demonstrate to the distinguished visitor its running and soccer skills, and Obama was quite impressed although he admitted he was a little “scared.”
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Tokyo, Japan – Noting that Metro Manila’s traffic, infrastructure and housing problems can no longer be solved by the Philippines’ National Capital Region, Japan has offered to buy Metro Manila for $57 Billion.
The Japanese government, acting on a report by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), made the offer to Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada and Makati City Mayor Junjun Binay. By purchasing Metro Manila, Japan hopes to implement JICA’s “Dream Plan” to solve once and for all Metro Manila’s decades-old woes.
The dream plan seeks to achieve by 2030, the five “No’s” considered to be the ultimate key to the revival of the dying metropolis : no traffic congestion, no excessive transport cost burden for low-income groups, no households living in high hazard risk areas, no barriers for seamless mobility of people and no air pollution.
Under the purchase proposal, Metro Manila will become a Prefecture of Japan and both the local and national governments of the Philippines will totally give up ownership and control of Metro Manila which consists of 17 cities and towns.
The only remaining obstacle to the proposed purchase is to determine how the $57 Billion will be divided among Philippine President Noynoy Aquino, Estrada, Binay and the rest of the mayors of the cities and towns of the metropolis.