A mayor of a small town in Japan has experienced a sudden surge in popularity following the election of Joe Biden in the United States.
73-year-old Yutaka Umeda is the mayor of Yamato, in the southwest of Japan whose shares something similar to the new president-elect, and no, it's not because both men are in their 70s.
The kanji characters, which originated from China and have several different pronunciations, for Umeda's name is almost identical to Biden's name.
Yutaka, which has just one character; 穣, is mostly read as just 'Jo.' His surname has two characters; 梅田, which can be read several ways but amongst them is 'bai' (pronounced 'buy') and 'den.'
What do you get if you put all those together? 'Jo Baiden'. Speaking to the Japan Times, Umeda said that he felt like he had won the election too.
I feel very close to him. It feels as though I've also won the election after hearing about his projected win.
Umeda has reportedly received many joke messages since Biden was named as the president-elect on Saturday but is hoping that he and his town, home to 15,000 people can benefit from Biden's presidency in the near future.
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'd like to think of ways to promote the town.
This isn't the first time that the Democrats have shared a unique relationship with Japan. During Barack Obama's first term as president, the city of Obama in Fukui Prefecture, grabbed headlines and soon enough the then-president paid them a visit. While visiting Japan in 2009, he stopped by Obama and said in a speech:
And of course, I could not come here without sending my greetings and gratitude to the citizens of Obama, Japan.