Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Japan's Mr. Clean Prime Minister Sleeps through Summit

The one possible exception to the general cooperative mood [at the Rambouillet summit in November, 1975] was Japanese Prime Minister Takeo Miki. Except for his opening statement on trade, which had concentrated on Japan’s national problems rather than the global economic system, Miki was not heard from. He seemed to be dozing through most of the presentations, which was a polite way of avoiding participation in the dialogue being, however, carefully transcribed by a note taker. This caused Simon to send me an irreverent note – “I think Miki has just died” – which I had framed as a reminder that not every moment of high-level meetings is equally portentous. (Years of Renewal, p. 695)

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