I think any Asian who speaks English has pulled the “no speak English” card once in their life to avoid talking to people. I admit to it. Looks like Akie Abe, the wife of Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe did that as well, and with Donald Trump.
At the G20 Summit, Mrs Abe had the unfortunate short end of the stick and was seated next to Trump at a performance and dinner. More from Trump’s New York Times interview:
“So, I was seated next to the wife of Prime Minister Abe, who I think is a terrific guy, and she’s a terrific woman, but doesn’t speak English,” Trump told reporter Maggie Haberman.
“Like, nothing, right? Like zero?” Haberman asked.
“Like, not ‘hello,’” said Trump.
Haberman said that must have been awkward, and Trump agreed, noting the dinner went well over an hour and a half.
He did have a Japanese interpreter, but indicated he did not make much use of the service, eating an entire banquet without saying a word to the woman seated beside him.
“But I enjoyed the evening with her, and she’s really a lovely woman, and I enjoyed — the whole thing was good,” he said.
Oh, Donald…. See, the thing is, Mrs Abe does speak fluent English and there is evidence of this, like this speech she made at the Ford Foundation in 2014.
Or all the numerous times she’s visited past U.S. Presidents. More from the National Post:
She chatted, for example, about a shared admiration for star baseball pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka (then of the Boston Red Sox), at the White House with President George W. Bush and his wife Laura in 2007. She has chatted with Laureen Harper, had cocktails with Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, spoken to business leaders in New York, and to a Virginia elementary school audience with Michelle Obama.
She has even met Donald and Melania Trump a couple of times, earlier this year at Andrews Air Force Base, followed by a weekend at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, where the two men played golf.
No worries, Mrs Abe. I would’ve done the same and feign the non-English thing too if I was seated next to that baboon.