Slices of Japanese business, politics and life
When a prime minister is in trouble, especially before an important general election, it is never wise to upset reporters.
But that seems to be exactly what unpopular Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso did when he departed for a G8 summit in the central Italian city of L’Aquila this week.
When I was heading to the airport to board a charter flight for the Japanese delegation and accompanying media on Monday, I got a last-minute call from a foreign ministry official who told me Aso’s office had decided not to hold a special briefing during the summit to discuss domestic issues.
Japanese prime ministers usually hold a briefing, called naiseikon in Japanese, when they travel overseas, granting access to only a small group of accompanying reporters.
As his first stop during a trip to attend July 8-10 summit of G8 leaders in Italy, Aso went to the Vatican, gave the pope a Sony digital video camera and discussed the global economic crisis with him.