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.
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.
from Summit Notebook:
Even in the best of times, Japan has never been a cakewalk for foreign investors. But in the wake of the global credit crisis, the world's second-largest economy can be downright baffling.