Japanese Prime Minister Mori and Barack Obama Humor: Facts

Picture Suggesting Japanese Prime Minister Mori and Barack Obama Humor
Japanese Prime Minister Mori and Barack Obama Humor


This is a true story from the Japanese Embassy in US!!!
A few days ago, Prime Minister Mori was given some Basic English conversation training before he visits Washington and meets President Barack Obama …
The instructor told Prime Minister Mori, “When you shake hand with President Obama, please say ‘How are you?’. Then Mr. Obama should say, ‘I am fine, and you?’ Now, you should say ‘Me too’. Afterwards, we translators will do the work for you.’

It looks quite simple, but the truth is …

When Mori met Obama, he mistakenly said ‘Who are you?’ (Instead of ‘How are you?’).

Mr. Obama was a bit shocked but still managed to react with humor: ‘Well, I’m Michelle’s husband, ha-ha…’

Then Mori replied ‘Me too, ha-ha….’

Then there was a long silence in the meeting room..

Picture of Japanese Prime Minister Mori and Barack Obama
Japanese Prime Minister Mori and Barack Obama


The message talks about a funny conversation that seems to have happened between US President Barack Obama and Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori when they met in Washington. It does sound humorous, but such an incident did not happen. The story is a hoax.

Origin of Story

This message is circulating online ever since the Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori met US President Bill Clinton back in 2000. The present story was originally attributed to Bill Clinton instead of Barack Obama. The humorous conversation between Bill Clinton and Mori started circulating from Japanese media.

Picture of Japanese Prime Minister Mori and Barack Obama
Japanese Prime Minister Mori and Barack Obama

About Yoshiro Mori

Yoshiro Mori served as the 85th and 86th Prime Minister of Japan starting at 5 April 2000 and ending on 26 April 2001. He was not a very popular prime minister, and is mainly remembered even today for his unintentional, embarrassing acts (gaffes) and situationally inappropriate actions.

Facts about the Story

Firstly, Mori served as Japan’s Prime Minister between 2000 and 2001, while Barack Obama is in US President’s office since 2009. So there is no possibility for them to meet officially, and to lead to such a conversation. Bill Clinton served as American President from 1993 to 2001, and Mori met Clinton on 5 May 2000, during his visit to G8 Countries. This meeting and conversation was documented in the website of American Presidency Project. There is no mention of any such incident. In fact when asked whether Mori spoke English, the reply was:

The Prime Minister does not speak good English, so I think this was done primarily through a translator.

Therefore this suggests that the funny conversation between Bill Clinton (or Barack Obama) and Yoshiro Mori never really happened. It was most certainly fabricated by the Japanese media, as a political humor, which is spreading for years now.

Hoax or Fact:


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Prashanth Damarla