Fukui city of Obama gifts U.S. president with lacquered pen

Kyodo

The mayor of Obama, Fukui Prefecture, has asked Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to give a lacquered pen to U.S. President Barack Obama as a gift for his second inauguration.

Abe will present the red lacquered pen, a local specialty, and a letter from Mayor Koji Matsuzaki when he holds a summit with Obama in Washington next week.

Meeting with Abe in Tokyo on Thursday, Matsuzaki also gave the prime minister a pen, but in a different color.

“I want (them) to write a line in the new diplomatic history of Japan and the United States,” the mayor told reporters after the meeting in Abe’s office. “I hope our pens will be used when they sign signatures or something.”

When Obama became president in 2009, the city sent lacquered chopsticks to him to congratulate him on his inauguration and received a thank-you letter in return.