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Japan PM Abe and US President Obama - what's in a name?

Published on Apr 24, 2014 4:16 PM
 

TOKYO (REUTERS) - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe may have hoped to demonstrate his personal ties with President Barack Obama during the US leader's state visit to Tokyo - but if how they addressed each other in public was any gauge, the effort fell a little short.

Ronald Reagan and Japanese Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone set the gold-standard for chummy relations between leaders of the two allies back in the 1980's, when they famously called each other by the nicknames "Ron" and "Yasu".

George W. Bush and Junichiro Koizumi also bonded during Koizumi's 2001-2006 term as Japanese premier, playing ball, eating BBQ at Bush's Texas ranch, and visiting Elvis Presley's Graceland mansion, where Koizumi crooned Elvis tunes.

Abe, perhaps keen to dispel talk that he and Obama - often described as cerebral and businesslike - didn't click, spoke warmly of their Wednesday evening casual sushi dinner.

U.S. President Barack Obama (right) waves next to Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe after dinner at Sukiyabashi Jiro restaurant in Tokyo on April 23, 2014. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe may have hoped to demonstrate his personal ties with President Barack Obama during the US leader's state visit to Tokyo - but if how they addressed each other in public was any gauge, the effort fell a little short. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
 
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