Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Meeting with a foreign head of government. Check.

Well, Aso made news today. He allowed Mark Knoller of CBS news to add a check mark for Obama.
Meetings with a foreign leader in the Oval Office: 1
That's it. Not even a footnote really. It seemed clear that the only desire by the Japanese be that they are first. They were the first country visited by the newly sworn in Secretary of State Clinton. They were the first government to visit Obama in the Oval Office. The trip seems so quickly thrown together that their only achievement seems to be first in line. All substance seems to have been thrown out the window for the sake of style.

But one thing baffles me. Apparently, Aso met with some various experts on Japan this afternoon for lunch (since he didn't eat at the White House). The team included a variety of Japan hands, most of whom seem to have been former officials for president Bush 41 or 43. Did they not have enough time to schedule interviews with many of the Obama supporters who have not yet been appointed to jobs in the administration? Did they notice that we spent the last two years choosing a new president, and that parties changed hands?

Monday, February 23, 2009

What's Aso to do?

In his post-Presidency, with low approval ratings, President Bush was offered a job as a greeter at a hardware store in Dallas.

With approval ratings in the teens, and 4/5 Japanese disapproving, I wonder what Aso will do.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Thank you... pencil?

Well, the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film went to La Maison en Petits Cubes tonight.

Kunio Kato thanked his pencil...

His broken English speech amounted to "Thank you" plus various nouns.

Including his pencil...

Well, it fits the mold. Only North Korea seems capable of doing worse on average TOEFL scores than Japan does.

PS - The best foreign film went to Departures. The acceptance speech was given in complete sentences.