Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi and U.S. President George W. Bush will hold their first summit on June 30 at Camp David, Md., Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuo Fukuda announced Tuesday.
It will be Koizumi’s first trip abroad since being swept into power in late April. The two leaders, who have both stressed the significance of the Japanese-U.S. alliance, are expected to reaffirm the need to strengthen bilateral security ties.
Koizumi will leave June 29 and is expected to return July 1, Fukuda said.
A top government official hinted, however, that Koizumi might extend his trip to visit Britain and France before returning to Japan.
During his meeting with Bush at the presidential retreat, Koizumi also is expected to explain the basic outline of his economic and fiscal policies, and convey his determination to carry out structural reforms of Japan’s economy, government sources said.
Later Tuesday, Koizumi met Bush’s father, former President George Bush, who was in Tokyo on private business, and stressed that economic recovery in Japan would be crucial for the proper functioning of bilateral ties and that it was his top priority.
“We talked about how much President George Bush — not me but my son — is looking forward to seeing the prime minister at Camp David as it makes a very good setting for two important leaders to get to know each other,” the elder Bush told reporters.
Asked about his impression of Koizumi, Bush said: “A lot of energy. Eighty-seven percent of polls — he must be a real samurai . . . I told him George would be very jealous about that.”
It will be the first time for a Japanese leader to visit Camp David since 1992, when then Prime Minister Kiichi Miyazawa met the elder Bush, Fukuda said.
Foreign Minister Makiko Tanaka is also expected to visit Washington in mid-June in an effort to smooth the ground ahead of Koizumi’s trip.
She has expressed her desire to meet with U.S. officials in person after she failed earlier this month to meet with visiting Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage.
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