I was surprised to read the furore that had blown up (excuse the pun)surrounding your jokes on QI regarding the above.
As someone who spent 7 years living in Tokyo and faced a great deal of racism from the Japanese I find it a little rich that complaints have been made by the Japanese Embassy. Futhermore as someone who was constantly referred to as Gaijin (translation:unwashed barbarian) or bacca gaijin (translation stupid unwashed barbarian) during my entire stay I find it a little rich and totally incredible that they are hypersensitive about such humour. It seems a little ridiculous that such sensitivity is forthcoming from Japan, when within my first week of my arriving in Japan in 1997 the Supreme Court took just 90 seconds to dismiss completely the POW's from UK, Netherlands and Australia class action, on the basis they could not apologise or compensate the POW's for something the judiciary did not believe took place!!
The barbarity that Japan inflicted in their Asian Holocaust is completely ignored and not acknowledged in the slightest by japan, and their schools teach that Japan was liberating Asia from the western imperialists when the small matter of that rather regretable incident called the Second World war and in particular the war in Asia/Pacific took place.
Whilst i do not condone the dropping of the A bombs, it is a decision that is easy to criticise 70 years on. However unfortunately barbarity begats barbarity and Japan would do well to recognise this and acknowledge it.
It is this lack of acknowledgement and our readiness to apologise in this way that enables Japan to see itself and promote this belief that they are a victim not a perpetrator.
The matter of English humour and the referrences to the death of Yamaguchi are what they are, harmless. Lets be realistic Mr Yamaguchi clearly qualified as one of the unluckiest people ever to live on this planet.
In my vast experience of being on the receiving end of overt endemic biggoted racist behaviour whilst I lived and established a company in Japan, I really wish we would not be so quick to believe we have been insensitive when japan from the government down is happy to express their insensitivities and biggotry to we foreigners.
I am sorry if this russles a few feathers but I feel able to be objective based on personal experience about such matters and feel that until the double standards are removed that Japan will never face up to its shocking past as Germany has had to and clearly does.
So lets not be so quick to apologise for our culture when others do not even acknowledge their past barbarity.
I am sure this will be removed but I have at least had my say as someone who was ridiculed and referred to in an insulting racist manner in ways that are enmeshed in the social fabric of Japan.. Thank you