Tiptoe Through the Tensions

Bush and Takeshita try to start out on the right foot

"If they don't hit it off, we're all in the soup," warned Yasuhiro Nakasone, Japan's former Prime Minister, as his successor prepared to meet President Bush last week. But there was little cause for worry. When Noboru Takeshita became the first foreign leader to hold a face-to-face meeting with the new President, the 2 1/2-hour session was as mild as Washington's 60 degrees F February weather. Gone were the threats of a trade war. Absent too was much of the anger that provided a harsh overtone for recent U.S.-Japanese summits. In their place was the hope, albeit still as fragile as...

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