• Staff report


Tokyo will dispatch former Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone as its special envoy for the funeral of former U.S. President Ronald Reagan, which will be held in Washington later this week, the top government spokesman said Monday.

Nakasone, who served as prime minister from 1982 to 1987, was known in Japan for his close relationship with Reagan. The two became friendly enough to call each other by their nicknames, “Ron” and “Yasu.”

“We asked him (to go) since Prime Minister (Junichiro) Koizumi judged that he is the most appropriate person to express the condolences of the (Japanese) people,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Hiroyuki Hosoda said.

U.S. Embassy opens condolence book for Reagan

The U.S. Embassy in Minato Ward, Tokyo, said it has opened a condolence book as part of the official period of mourning following the death of former President Ronald Reagan.

The book will remain open between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. through Thursday. The embassy’s flag will remain at half-staff for 30 days.