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Regional & National

Did Obama grovel before Japan's emperor?

November 17th, 2009 12:00 am by Staff Report

USA Today is reporting that President Barak Obama's deep bow to Japan's Emperor Akihito over the weekend may have been an awkward moment, but it wasn't without precedent. And it appeared to be well within protocol guidelines that the State Department issues for foreign service officers working in other countries.

U.S. presidents from both political parties have often been criticized for their attempts at culturally sensitive greetings to high-ranking foreigners.

Examples? Former President George W. Bush was mocked for holding Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah's hand, a traditional sign of friendship in the Middle East.  Democratic President Bill Clinton was criticized for almost bowing to Akihito. Former President Richard Nixon can be seen in a Life magazine photo from 1971 bowing to Akihito's father, Emperor Hirohito, who ruled when Japan bombed Pearl Harbor in 1941.

Read the full report at USA Today's Web site.

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