Translated from Yomiuru. Do I really need to comment? Whether or not the suit has any legal merit, Ishihara is a complete and total nutjob.
Tokyo governor Ishihara Shintaro being sued for statement that “French is disqualified from international use”
The head of a Tokyo French language school filed suit on July 13th against Tokyo prefectural governor Ishihara Shintaro (72) in response to his statement that “French is unable to count numbers, and so is disqualified from use as an international language.” In the suit, which was presented to the Tokyo district court, the plaintiff claims that the governor’s statement “damaged my reputation and interfered with my business” and is demanding total damages to the order of ￥10,500,000, as well as a public apology.
The plaintiff is Malik Berkane, head of the Class de France (Tokyo Minato-ku), as well as 21 other French interpreters/translators and researchers.
According to the complaint, the statement in question was uttered in October of last year during a meeting of the General Support Foundation for the Establishment of a Metropolitan University of Tokyo at the Tokyo governmental office. Teachers from the former Prefectural University’s literature faculty, which includes French, were speaking in opposition to the establishment of the new university, which decreased the size of their faculty. Ishihara, in addition to his statements on “French’s disqualification” also said that “it is utterly ridiculous that that these people still clinging to French are opposed to the opening of this school.”
The plantiff’s claim states that “It is in fact possible to count in French, and it is also a common language in international organizations.”
According to the governor’s office, “Because the complaint has not yet been delivered, we cannot offer any comment at this time.”