JAPAN: Getting Nowhere

Smiles flashed and vodka flowed in Moscow's Spiridonovka Palace one day last week. It was Soviet Foreign Minister Shepilov's way of welcome to his Japanese counterpart, one-legged Mamoru Shigemitsu, in honor of Shigemitsu's 69th birthday. Gallantly, Shepilov apologized for not having sukiyaki for his Japanese guests. "Your vodka and caviar," replied Shigemitsu graciously, "are as good as ever."

Once the Foreign Ministers had moved from the groaning board to the conference table, the talk became much less pleasant; the Japanese discovered that the conference, too, would be Russian style. Shigemitsu, who...

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