Ozawa-Clinton meeting can’t be scheduled

by Kazuaki Nagata

Democratic Party of Japan executives failed Friday to arrange a meeting between DPJ chief Ichiro Ozawa and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton when she visits Japan next week.

DPJ Secretary General Yukio Hatoyama and James Zumwalt, charge d’affaires ad interim of the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo, agreed during a telephone conversation Friday morning that the meeting won’t take place due to scheduling difficulties, according to Kenji Yamaoka, the DPJ’s Diet affairs chief.

But Yamaoka said he sent a letter to Washington saying both sides should do their best to realize the meeting, considering future bilateral relations.

A response to the letter is expected Saturday morning, Yamaoka noted.

If realized, the Clinton-Ozawa meeting would be a perfect opportunity for the DPJ to gain media attention and boost its chances of winning power in the near future.

“Of course, Ozawa has an intention to meet (with Clinton)” if there is a chance, Hatoyama told reporters Friday afternoon.