"A senior administration official said President Barack Obama was simply observing protocol when he bowed to Japanese Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko upon arriving at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo on Saturday. “I think that those who try to politicize those things are just way, way, way off base,” the official said. “He observes protocol. But I don’t think anybody who was in Japan – who saw his speech and the reaction to it, certainly those who witnesses his bilateral meetings there – would say anything other than that he enhanced both the position and the status of the U.S., relative to Japan. It was a good, positive visit at an important time, because there’s a lot going on in Japan.”That's simply wrong.
See here that no other world leader bowed.
Indeed the President of the United States bows to no one, much less a vanquished foe. Note also that Akihito didn't return the bow, which is customary. It would be considered rude. Obviously he was taken back by Obama's gaff.
The State Department should know better than to hoist up this lie.
Tidbit: In Japanese custom when you bow (ojigi) to anyone you bow also to their ancestors as well. Thus in bowing to Japanese Emperor Akihito, he bowed to his father Emperor Shōwa, thus the despot that bombed Pearl Harbor.
Very wrong indeed.