Kishida gave Zelensky the ‘Victory Spatula’… Japanese netizens criticize “embarrassment”

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida visited the capital of Ukraine, Kiu, and met President Volodymyr Zelensky as a gift.

According to foreign media such as Nihon Keizai and Asahi Shimbun on the 25th, Prime Minister Kishida presented a spatula to President Zelensky on the 21st (local time), appearing before the Budget Committee of the House of Councilors and explained.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida (left) poses for a photo after a summit meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kiiu, Ukraine on the 21st (local time)./Yonhap News

Regarding this, Representative Noriko Ishigaki of the Constitutional Democratic Party, the main opposition party, said, “(War) is not an election or a coup. What Japan needs to do is how to make peace. ” He continued, “It is so inappropriate to go into battle and win without fail.”

“I will refrain from telling you the meaning (of the gift),” said Prime Minister Kishida, “Ukrainians are fighting to defend their country and their freedom. I will support Ukraine with a heart of respect towards these efforts. “

At a regular press conference held after the summit, Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno announced that Prime Minister Kishida presented President Zelensky with a 50-centimeter spatula and a paper crane motif lamp made in Itsukushima, Hiroshima Prefecture.

Shamoji became famous during the Sino-Japanese and Russo-Japanese Wars when Japanese soldiers offered scoops of rice to Itsukushima in the hope of victory. The big spatula with words like victory, booming business, and married couples have become specialties. I focused on the fact that reading the words ‘eat (rice)’ and ‘capture (enemies)’ are similar. It is also said to mean ‘spreading luck and blessings’. It is also used in supporting the Hiroshima national team in athletic events such as high school baseball and football.

Nikkan Sports said, “During the Russo-Japanese War, Japan won against Russia. There is an opinion from the political world that Prime Minister Kishida wants to convey the origins and thoughts of the winning spatula to the President of Ukraine, Zelensky, who continues to be the victim of an irrational attack by Russia.”

However, beyond the political world in Japan, people are also reporting that they are “ashamed” of the Shamoji donation. One netizen wrote, “It doesn’t matter if you give a chamoji to the Japanese baseball team, but it doesn’t make sense to give it to the president of a belligerent country.” He also criticized, “Something like 1,000 paper cranes is a difficult gift if you don’t know Japanese culture.”

Meanwhile, in March 2015, when Prime Minister Kishida was Foreign Minister, he also presented a spatula from Hiroshima during a meeting with then Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se.