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As Obama Meets Japan's Noda, Bill Clinton Photo Called "Great Present," Kyodo Denied

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, September 21 -- Japan's sixth prime minister in five years Yoshihiko Noda met on Wednesday with US President Obama, and afterward Inner City Press asked Japanese foreign ministry spokesman Yutaka Yokoi if all the turn over made more difficult the personal relationship he was talking about.

  Yokoi paused and said, "Everything has two faces, that is quite true." He continued, "If you want a good relationship, you should have one face. But new people have new ideas." He continued about the shared financial crisis. Video here.

  Going smaller bore, Inner City Press asked Yokoi about foreign minister Koichiro Gemba's gift to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton of a photograph of himself with Bill Clinton, which the Daily Mail reported "horrified" Hillary Clinton.

  Yokoi disagreed. He said, "I think it was a great present, a personal present... I'm sure Ms. Clinton appreciated very much."

  Inner City Press asked about a Kyodo News exclusive about a UN report calling Japan's disaster preparedness "too modest." Yokoi turned to his colleague from the Prime Minister's office, Noriyuki Shikata. (His business card, given afterward, identified him as "Deputy Cabinet Secretary for Public Relations").

  Shikata said he wasn't sure what report Inner City Press was referring to, and he maintained his even after the press conference. He cited positive reviews from the IAEA -- headed as many of noted by a Japanese official -- and said Japan will cooperate with anything. We'll see -- watch this site.

Click for July 7, 11 re Sudan, Libya, Syria, flotilla

Click for Mar 1, '11 re Libya, Sri Lanka, UN Corruption

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These reports are usually also available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis.

Click here for a Reuters AlertNet piece by this correspondent about Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army. Click here for an earlier Reuters AlertNet piece about the Somali National Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's $200,000 contribution from an undefined trust fund.  Video Analysis here

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