Diplomacy Playing It Cool

Reagan and Nakasone try to defuse growing trade-war tensions

The two leaders are old friends who have fallen on the hardest times of their political lives. Japanese Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone calls the American President "Ron," and Reagan calls the Japanese leader "Yasu." Thus Nakasone last week hoped to get a sympathetic welcome when he arrived in Washington for talks with Reagan aimed at defusing tense trade troubles between the two countries. Nakasone fully understood the importance of the trip, which he grandly described as the "most important journey ever made to Washington by a Japanese Prime Minister." As he jetted toward Washington, the Prime Minister read a book about...

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