A Message for Tokyo

Tom Foley was not the only politician negotiating with George Bush last week when the President made his dramatic turnabout. Bush was also engaged in last- minute telephone talks with Japanese Prime Minister Toshiki Kaifu on a long-range program to shrink America's $50 billion annual trade gap with Japan. Bush's statement on "increased tax revenues" produced a timely bonus: it met the principal Japanese demand that the U.S. bring down the federal deficit.

Two days later, negotiators in Tokyo announced agreement on the awkwardly named Structural Impediments Initiative, which commits Japan to boost spending while the U.S. cuts debt. The agreement...

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