Slices of Japanese business, politics and life
U.S. President Barack Obama will have his work cut out during his 24-hour stay in Japan from Friday as he and Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama try to soothe concerns that the decades-old alliance is fraying as the two countries adapt to China’s rise.
Other U.S. presidents have also had rough agendas in Tokyo, given a relationship historically plagued by trade spats and security angst.
But most have found time for a friendly photo op — sampling local culture or cuisine or squeezing in some exercise time.
Jimmy Carter jogged and swam at the U.S. ambassador’s residence and sampled “yakitori” chicken kebabs at a restaurant in downtown Tokyo with his family in 1979.
One in five politicians in the Japanese parliament is the child or grandchild of a politician, reinforcing a longstanding practice of influential political families handing power down to the next generation.
But voter criticism has been mounting ahead of the Aug. 30 election — especially in Yokosuka, a port city southwest of Tokyo, where former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi has passed his seat on to his 28-year-old second son, Shinjiro Koizumi.