Japanese Mayor ‘Jo Baiden’ Congratulates President-Elect Joe Biden

jo baiden

A mayor in a small town in Japan has become internet famous for his name, which is pronounced as “Jo Baiden” in kanji (Chinese characters).

What’s in a name? Yutaka Umeda, 73, is the mayor of Yamato, Kumamoto Prefecture, which has a population of only 15,000 but has gained recognition on the internet after Joe Biden was projected to be the winner of the U.S. presidential election last week.

Screenshot via ANNnewsCH
  • The mayor’s last name is read as “ume” and “da,” which mean “plum” and “rice field,” according to Kyodo News.
  • But the characters can also be read as “bai” and “den.”
  • The kanji character for his first name, Yutaka, is usually read as “jo.”

Overnight viral sensation: Umeda and his family were surprised by the connection with the president-elect and the online popularity of his name.

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  • “I feel very close to him. It feels as though I’ve also won the election after hearing about (Democratic nominee Joe Biden’s) projected win,” the mayor was quoted as saying.
  • Umeda congratulated Biden on the results of the 2020 election and hopes this recognition brings further attention to Yamato.
  • “Being the president of a superpower like the United States and a mayor of Yamato — the scale (of our jobs) is completely different, but I would like to think of ways to promote the town.”
  • Japan’s Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga also congratulated Biden and Vice-president-elect Kamala Harris after the duo’s victory was announced on Saturday.

Feature Image via ANNnewsCH, @dieworkwear (Overlay)

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