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Big in Japan: Obama the city loves Obama the President-elect
America might be divided between Obama and McCain supporters, though most of our foreign allies are turning green (or blue?) with envy. Indeed, Obama's historic election might just be the first step in repairing America's tarnished image abroad, both amongst our allies and perhaps even our enemies.
One of the most peculiar election celebrations last week took place in the city of Obama (??, literally Little Beach), a sleepy little town in the middle of the Japanese countryside. In honor of the US President-elect, local women performed the hula dance, a tribute to Obama's early years as a child in Hawaii.
Dubbed 'The Obama Girls,' the hula troop told reporters that they now have plans to travel to Washington for the inauguration in January, and are hoping that they will have the opportunity to perform in front of Obama himself.
Hilarious...sometimes you really can't help but love the Japanese (^_^)
When the presidential results were made official, a huge media circus descended on the town of Obama to cover what was arguably Japan's craziest election party.
While the Obama Girls were certainly eye-candy, the night's other highlight was the performance of a local pop group, who recorded the soon-to-be smash hit, 'La La La La La Obama!' The song also had some choice lines, such as this lyrical bit of brilliance: 'Obama is beautiful man!'
Interestingly enough, it's not just the town's namesake that has local Japanese supporting President-elect Obama. In fact, they're hoping that their increasing interest in American politics will help in their case against North Korea.
During the 1970s and 80s, North Korean agents kidnapped a number of Japanese citizens, including some from the city of Obama. One of them is still being held prisoner, and Obama's patriotic citizens are hoping that President Obama can succeed where President Bush failed.
Of course, it's worth pointing out that not everyone in the Land of the Rising Sun is celebrating an Obama victory. On the contrary, a good number of Japanese politicians in Tokyo are sounding the death knell on their attempts at luring the Olympic games to Japan in 2016.
Currently, Tokyo, Chicago, Madrid and Rio de Janeiro are the four cities in the running to host the 2016 Games. However, Japanese Olympic officials fear that the election of Obama as president could make his home city of Chicago the favorite.
According to Japanese Olympic Committee President Tsunekazu Takeda: "I wonder how the International Olympic Committee (IOC) members will react when Mr. Obama appears in a presentation for Chicago. Obama is popular and good at speeches, so things could get tough for Japan."
The IOC will name the 2016 host at its general assembly in October next year, which means that quite a number of Japanese politicians are planning to watch Obama's first 100 days with intense interest.
Regardless of what happens to Japan's Olympic aspirations, at least the Obama Girls will get their well-deserved share of the international spotlight!