Japan anger over French Fukushima cartoon

Girl waves Japan's national flag as visitors take photos during an event titled "Tokyo 2020 Host City Welcoming Ceremony
Image caption Tokyo says the Fukushima crisis will not affect its ability to host the Olympics

Japan will formally protest about a cartoon in a French satirical weekly of sumo wrestlers with extra limbs at the stricken Fukushima nuclear plant.

The caption says: "Thanks to Fukushima, sumo is now an Olympic sport", a reference to Tokyo's successful bid to host the 2020 Olympic Games.

Japan overcame concerns about the plant, which was crippled by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, to win the bid.

A Japanese official said the cartoon gave the wrong impression about Japan.

The sketch in Le Canard Enchaine showed a commentator in a nuclear protection suit standing in front of two multi-limbed and emaciated sumo wrestlers facing off against the backdrop of the plant

The French weekly also published a picture of two people wearing nuclear protection suits holding a Geiger counter in front of a pool of water and saying that water sport facilities had already been built at Fukushima.

The triple meltdown at Fukushima, which lies 141 miles (227km) north of the capital, was classed as a highest-possible level seven incident on an international scale, one of only two nuclear events ever given that rating - along with the 1986 Chernobyl disaster in the former Soviet Union.

'Wrong impression'

Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said the government would lodge an official complaint with the magazine.

"These kinds of satirical pictures hurt the victims of the disaster," Mr Suga told a news conference.

"This kind of journalism gives the wrong impression about the waste water problem," he added.

Since the triple meltdown the plant has continued to be plagued by problems, such as leaks of radioactive water from storage tanks and also concerns that water is seeping from damaged reactor buildings into the ground.

Tokyo has insisted that it can resolve the many issues faced by the plant and has also pledged funding to build a frozen wall around reactor buildings to contain the leaks.

During the Olympic bid process Prime Minister Shinzo Abe assured the International Olympic Committee that the situation was "under control".

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