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Home > Media Reiews > News Review Last Updated: 14:52 03/09/2007
News Review #6: February 19, 2002

Laura Bush Reads at Japan School

Reviewed By Hitoshi URABE

"Laura Bush Reads at Japan School"
Washington Post, Gary Schaefer

Related Article:
"Bush, on Tokyo Visit, Calls Koizumi 'a Great Reformer'"

Majority of the day's media space was devoted to two topics, Olympic Games and President Bush. This article is typical of the reports on the first day in Tokyo, of the President and the First Lady's three-nation tour in East Asia. Typical, in the sense that the article is prosaic and calm, simply listing and explaining the activities for the day by the couple. It was fairly apparent that the idea was to spend the first day mostly on social events, with plenty of opportunities for the camera crew to capture their smiles. Mrs. Bush visited a nearby school to meet second graders, a heart warming plan though a routine for the spouse of a visiting dignitary.

Why are the reports so quiet? Is it just the calm before a storm, a tense discussion is to follow between Messrs Koizumi and Bush? Actually it would be very surprising, if either of the head of the state brings up a totally new issue at their formal conference. Most of the issues should already have been thoroughly discussed by their subordinates beforehand, and so their meeting personally would be a ceremonial affair.

However, it would still be important, as the people will be able to assess, from their speeches and attitudes, which of the mounting issues most attracts their interest. It has been recognized that economic recovery and structural reform are the two top priorities for Japan now. It is important, therefore, to see how Mr. Bush himself recognizes the situation, and perhaps even more important, in a practical sense, how strong he is determined to support Mr. Koizumi, who is having his hard time at present.

Most of the reports are prosaic and calm, then, as the schedule must have been carefully staged to show the mutual confidence between the Prime Minister and the President, and specifically to show the President's support for the PM. It is better, therefore, that no surprises come out of this visit.

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