Japan Today

Aso among 9 leaders to speak with Obama on phone


Prime Minister Taro Aso and U.S. President-elect Barack Obama on Friday confirmed that the two nations will cooperate closely in tackling such issues as the ongoing financial crisis, Afghanistan and North Korea, a Japanese government official said.

During their 10-minute telephone talk, Aso and Obama agreed to strengthen the Japan-U.S. alliance and confirmed to make arrangements for their meeting at an early date, the official said.

Obama said he would like to build a personal relationship with Aso and said that he feels a strong affinity. He added that he knows well about the Japanese city of Obama in Fukui Prefecture, where a rally was held to congratulate the victory of the namesake President-elect. Aso congratulated Obama on his victory in the U.S. presidential race and the two also agreed to closely cooperate in such global issues as climate change, the official said.

Obama's call from Aso was one of nine he took Thursday from world leaders who reached out after his presidential victory.

The global financial crisis was among the topics Obama discussed with key U.S. allies he'll deal with during his administration.

Aside from Aso, Obama spokeswoman Stephanie Cutter said the president-elect spoke to Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Mexican President Felipe Calderon, South Korean President Lee Myung-bak and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

Sarkozy's office says they spoke for 30 minutes and characterized the discussion as "extremely warm" as the president congratulated Obama on a "brilliant" election victory. The statement said they discussed international issues, particularly the financial crisis, and agreed to meet in the "quite near future."

Harper's office said in a statement that they spoke about an international financial summit in Washington on Nov 15 and its importance for addressing the global financial crisis. Obama had no plans to attend the meeting.

The prime minister's office says the two leaders emphasized that there could be no closer friends and allies than the United States and Canada and vowed to build upon the relationship. Harper's office called it a warm exchange and said they agreed to talk again soon.

Calderon's office said Obama pledged continued U.S. support for Mexico's fight against organized crime and drug trafficking. A statement from the Mexican president's office says Obama told Calderon he was "conscious of the difficulty of the battle" and offered "decisive" U.S. support.

Congress approved $400 million in anti-drug aid for Mexico last June, but has yet to release the money.

In his conversation with Lee, Obama said the U.S.-South Korea alliance is a "cornerstone" of Asia's peace and stability, and promised improved relations between the countries, Seoul's presidential office said.

The United States helped defend South Korea during the Korean war and is its No. 1 ally. About 28,500 American troops are still stationed there to deter threats from communist North Korea.

© Wire reports

©2024 GPlusMedia Inc.

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Wow this is just so incredible, almost still like a dream. President Obama is now conferring with world leaders. Change!!!

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wait, how do they translate the talk over the phone? or should we understand that Obama speaks Japanese?

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Taro Aso speaks English. Maybe not perfectly but certainly enough. He was the former Foreign Minister after all.

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aso congrats you got yr phone call, mission accomplished!! omedeto

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i hope this wasn't a prank call like they did to Palin (w/ a fake Sarkozy)

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from one millionaire to another, wonder if they talked about their houses.

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'Congratulations, you are first kokujin president'

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come on come......... Jpn is desperately trying to find out how many minutes everyone had with Obama, especially SKorea, they better not have had as much as aso had!!

Am i the only one that thinks this kinda of article is daft, other than mentioning which coutries he had conversations in a line or 2 this is a waste of cyberspace, but then again so is my little rant, TGIF!

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Might have been nice to have called the President of Pakistan. Let him know he doesn't plan to invade.

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3 questions.... yeah? And? So what?

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oooo the dear leader, the great hopiate spoke with a mere motal like Aso?

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ASO speaking English on a phone? I doubt it was a very good conversation. I am a very good speaker of Japanese and using a phone is still one of the most difficult things to do in this language to other Japanese speakers, especially if they try to speak English to me. Very frustrating as I cannot see them pointing at their noses or pushing their glasses up with their middle fingers. Face to face Aso will probably be able to deal with it but will need a translator right there for sure.

---Good luck Obama. Intelligent and hopefully wise and productive.

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It's an usual procedure,right?Why should it be news?

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'Congratulations, you are first kokujin president'

LOL, Pro, you've nailed it in one! I would say that Aso added "Be very very care in you unsafety biorensu kantorii, Mr. Kokujin Purejidento Obama-sama."

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What Aso failed to realise was that he was speaking to Nocchi - the Japanese Obama "lookalike"!

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obama grew up in hawaii, where the largest single ethnic group is japanese-american.

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Aso, eager to garner political points, calls Obama:

Aso: Hello, Mr. Obama, this is the Prime Minister of Japan.

Obama: Yes, Prime Minister Aso, how are you?

Aso: I want to talk about our common values between Japan and America.

Obama: ...ehh, excuse me, Mr. Aso, I believe the connection is bad...

Aso: Moshi, moshi...

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Aso: "Mista Obamasan, can you use Japanese chopsticks?"

Obama: "Yes, I can."

Aso: "ええええ、すごいね! Can you eat Japanese sushi?"

Obama: "Yes, I like sushi quite well."

Aso: "ええええ、すごいね! Do you know Japan has four seasons? Japanese four seasons very famous!"

Obama: "Yes, I figured it does. Illinois has four seasons, too."

Aso: "うそ!えと... oh, rearry? Sank you bery muchi, Mista Obamasan. Good ruck presidento."

Obama: "Arigato."

Aso: "ええええええ!!!  日本語じょうず!”

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While Toyota became the world's largest car exporter, Japan's domestic >car sales are at a 40 year low, highlighting the parasitic nature of the >economic relationship.

The numerous factories in the United States, the many US auto workers and the States which receive tax dollars would totally disagree with your absurd "parasitic relationship" comment. For many years now 98% of the money spent on US manufactured (or assembled) "Japanese" cars stays in the USA.

Japan has been ruled by one political party for over fifty years and top >officials of the Self Defense Force believe Japan was tricked into World >War II by President Roosevelt.

That one party is the one we put into place after WWII. That "FDR knew it" conspiracy theory is an American one, which the ASDF guy simply repeated. When bashing it's best to stick to the facts.

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Will Aso still be PM when Obama is sworn in? 50-50.

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i heard the italian president was making racist jokes about obama the other day, to the italian media. i'm sure prime minister aso cannot do much worse. unless he pulls a nakasone.

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I thought President Elect Obama recognized the city of Obama in Nagasaki Prefecture...am I wrong? I seem to remember a news story about a letter he sent to Obama City, Nagasaki. I visited that town in Nagasaki Prefecture. Please help me out...

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Obama said he would like to build a personal relationship with Aso and said that he feels a strong affinity

I have heard that in Japan, one must be "pure blood" Japanese to be a politician, that is, your grand-grandparents must be Japanese on both sides, or something similar. Can anyone confirm this?

Because Obama would have been automatically discriminated if that were the rule in USA, as his father was from Kenia. I wonder if he knows about this, and I hope the Japanese lawmakers consider this rule twice and change it for the sake of Human Rights.

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Spanishwoman -

You heard wrong. there is no such rule. As in other countries, you have to be a citizen of the country you want to be a politician in. There is no rule about 'pure blood'.

Marutei Tsurunen, born in Finland of Finnish parents, took Japanese nationality in 1979, became a local politician in 1992 and a member of the National Diet in 2002.

There is no rule for Japanese lawmakers to consider changing.

Moderator: Back on topic please.

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