By Junichiro Nakagawa
U.S. President Donald Trump is doing a great job of proving himself a leader of low caliber by twitter-shaming big businesses and blasting various media he disapproves of. He has a misconception that Japan systematically discourages American automobile purchases. It seems that he couldn’t care less what other nations think of him, so long as he can draw support from his own.
Trump’s tweets, often referred to as the “Trump gun” and “fingertip intervention,” receive countless responses, often negative due to the nature of the medium. Many Japanese account holders are replying directly. While most tweets directed towards President Obama were random stickers and “follow me!” requests, tweets for the incumbent President are often critical of his policies. Many of them are automobile-related. Some are written in English. Here are some back-translations of some original tweets: “Who wants to buy poor quality glitchy [American] cars?” “If Americans made quality inexpensive cars, people would buy them.” “American cars are inferior to Japanese cars! They’re piles of expensive scrap metal.”
There were some unemotional tweets that outlined possible factors that hinder sales of American cars such as tariffs, high gas prices, and narrow roads. Meanwhile, there were others like this one. “I want an American car but the Japanese youth earn so little (emoji for crying). Please pressure [our leaders] to raise our salaries through diplomatic channels.”
Active twitter conversations between Japanese and foreign users were seen when ISIS took two Japanese hostages. One Japanese received from ISIS a threatening tweet that said “don’t think you’re safe just because you are far away” after repeatedly provoking the militant group by tweeting silly images to them.
It may not be a good idea to tweet overly provocative messages to the unpredictable Trump. He might single out and attack individual Japanese twitter handles or suddenly declare a ban on Japanese cars sales in the American market, as he is an incomprehensible character incapable of logic or decent conversation.
Some unofficial twitter accounts that translate Trumps tweets into Japanese are gaining many followers.