Sunday, March 22, 2009

Prime Minister’s Schedule

One of the fun things to read is the Prime Minister’s schedule. You learn who he met with and for how long. You can check if he took his morning “walk around his residence” and how late he stayed out with his secretary who he met at a hotel bar.

I read this in English and am not really sure where it is published in Japan (newspapers, I am told). And yes, I live such amazingly unexceptional and isolated life that I look forward to finding out what Mr. Aso did the previous day.

Of recent interest, I noticed that Mr. Aso met but again with Michael Green, the Japan Chair at the conservative Washington think tank CSIS. On March 2nd, the Prime Minister held a meeting with Central Japan Railway Co. Chairman Yoshiyuki Kasai, Confederation of Indian Industry Chief Mentor Tarun Das (I have no idea what that title means), and Mike Green to discuss their recent U.S.-Japan-India Trilateral Strategic Dialogue gathering. (the link takes you to a three and a half page summary of the two years of discussions)

Fund it and they will come. 

Speaking of tying up a lot of people with lots of money to travel to exotic places to merely discuss the “big picture,” the name Patrick Cronin comes up again. To any one of you who disparaged Dr. Cronin’s close ties with Prime Minister Taro Aso, you should have read the PM’s daily schedule for November 25, 2008. The defense think tank head not only had lunch with the PM but later went out with him for drinks at a hotel bar. That is serious facetime. On January 15th, the Mainichi Shimbun reported that this meeting was to persuade the PM to commit more resources to Afghanistan as this was to be a priority of President-elect Obama. Cronin, the paper said, is close to Defense Secretary Gates. That is serious newspaper exposure.

It is nice to see all these Republicans taking the time to advise Mr. Aso on what the Obama Administration wants. There is a vacuum after all. Anyway, there seems little difference between Bush and Obama people or policies on Japan. I have to admit I do not recall any Democrats visiting Kantei. But maybe I have not been paying attention.

Updated: later March 22, 2009

1 comment:

  1. FYI, every major daily reprints the prime minister's schedule.


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