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US President Obama fulfils dreams of sushi on first night in Tokyo

Published on Apr 23, 2014 8:56 PM

TOKYO (AFP) - US President Barack Obama dined on Wednesday at a tiny Tokyo sushi restaurant - a revered spot with three coveted Michelin stars but only a handful of seats - ruled with an iron rod by its redoubtable 88-year-old owner.

The world's most powerful man, dining at the invitation of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, was entirely at the mercy of Jiro Ono, whose exacting standards and tireless work ethic have made him legendary among global foodies.

The commander-in-chief of one of the planet's most fearsome armed forces, who sits at the helm of a multi-trillion dollar economy, had no menu to choose from - even if he could read it - because Jiro selects the dishes he serves and will not take orders from his customers. 

"That's some good sushi right there," Mr Obama remarked as he emerged from the restaurant after the hour-and-a-half dinner, the White House pool report said. Diners from a restaurant on the same basement floors, reportedly peeked through the windows and aimed their cameras to grab a picture of the president.

US President Barack Obama with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe before a private dinner at Sukiyabashi Jiro restaurant in Tokyo on April 23, 2014. Mr Obama dined on Wednesday at the tiny Tokyo sushi restaurant ruled with an iron rod by its redoubtable 88-year-old owner Jiro Ono. -- PHOTO: AFP
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