Anata to wa chigau n desu ("I am different from you"). In the few short days since Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda uttered these words to a pesky reporter after his shock resignation, Japan has witnessed the birth of a new buzz phrase online.
At the end of the press conference following Fukuda's resignation, a Chugoku Shimbun reporter told the Prime Minister that many people thought he often seemed detached when he spoke, almost as if the problems facing Japan were none of his business. The reporter suggested that Fukuda also sounded distant in his resignation announcement and asked what impact he thought his sudden resignation (which comes just one year after previous Prime Minister Abe suddenly resigned) would have on the country. Seemingly perturbed, Fukuda fired back at the reporter: "You said I sounded detached, but I am able to see myself objectively. I'm different from you."
Fukuda's jarringly out-of-character words came as an awkward exclamation point to his resignation and threw some people for an extra loop. The phrase has been percolating for days on 2-channel, where dozens of popular threads with the words "anata to wa chigau n desu" (??????????) in the title have been posted, many containing Fukuda-inspired ASCII art.
The Asobit City otaku department store in Akihabara is cashing in on the buzz, too. A sidewalk display for what appears to be some sort of "Sayonara Fukuda Sale" features a stack of Fukuda-themed sweets. The subheading on the poster reads: "I'm different from you."
Club T is also jumping on the bandwagon with a line of Fukuda resignation memorabilia that includes T-shirts, coffee mugs, caps and more imprinted with the popular phrase.