TOKYO, Aug 5 (Reuters) – The mayor of Japanese metropolis Nagoya earned himself Web infamy and a uncommon rebuke from Toyota Motor Corp on Thursday for chomping down on an Olympic gold medal at an occasion meant to rejoice its winner, softball pitcher Miu Goto.
Within the on Wednesday, Takashi Kawamura pulled down his masks and put Goto’s gold medal between his tooth as he stood in entrance of a backdrop used for press briefing that urges folks to scrub their arms and socially distance to forestall COVID-19 infections.
Trending posts on Twitter mentioned Kawamura had turned Goto’s gold medal right into a germ medal, which in Japanese is pronounced the identical. Some referred to as for Goto to get a substitute for the medal she gained on the Tokyo 2020 Video games taking part in for Japan.
Biting down on medals, which solely comprise a small quantity of gold even when gold, is frequent amongst athletes and even prompted a humorous tweet from the official Tokyo2020 account to substantiate that “.”
“It’s unlucky that he was unable to really feel admiration and respect for the athlete,” Toyota mentioned in a press release on Thursday about Kawamura. “And this can be very regrettable that he was unable to offer consideration to an infection prevention,” mentioned the world’s greatest automobile maker.
Toyota, which owns the Purple Terriers softball workforce that Goto performs for, dominates the economic system of the area in central Japan the place town is situated.
“I forgot my place as Nagoya mayor and acted in a particularly inappropriate manner. I’m absolutely conscious that I ought to mirror on that,” Kawamura mentioned in a televised apology after Toyota launched its assertion.
His obvious disregard for coronavirus etiquette in a rustic the place masks sporting is frequent, even in stifling summer time warmth, comes as COVID-19 circumstances spike in Japan because the extra infectious Delta variant spreads.
Kawamura, who has courted controversy earlier than for attempting to close down an exhibition on ladies compelled to work in Japanese military brothels throughout World Conflict Two, was re-elected in April for a fourth time period.
Reporting by Tim Kelly; extra reporting by Kevin Krolicki and Takashi Umekawa; Modifying by Ana Nicolaci da Costa and Michael Perry