A foreigner has recently gotten himself into the Guinness Book of World Records for the longest period spent in Japan without speaking a single word of Japanese.
Standing in front of an applauding audience of Japanese media and the general public, record holder Idon Kerr beamed with pride at his achievement. At the press conference following the awards ceremony, the 49-year-old fielded questions by Japanese journalists. When a journalist took the mic and asked in Japanese about the new record holder’s secret in managing to maintain his ignorance of the language for so long, the 49-year-old responded, “I’m sorry, I don’t understand Japanese,” to which, the audience laughed.
The two-hour press conference saw several questions by journalists from across Japan answered with the same, “I don’t understand Japanese.”
In response to why an interpreter was not arranged for the press conference, organizer Ai Donkeaiiza said, “We wanted to show the Japanese people it is possible to be unable to speak a foreign language no matter how conducive an environment you are in and would like to encourage them to achieve the same.”