National

Nakasone-Reagan summit venue now memorial hall

Kyodo News






News photo
Former Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone walks in front of the tea room –
in Tokyo on Saturday where
he and then U.S. President Ronald Reagan once held summit talks. The memorial house used to be his
private mountain retreat when he was prime minister.
KYODO PHOTO

“I used to come to this place secretly whenever I wanted to be freed from heavy pressures of prime minister,” Nakasone, 89, said in a speech at the opening ceremony.

“This was an important place for me to bolster my spirits by looking into the blue sky quietly and wandering through nearby lanes,” he said.

The opening ceremony was attended by Michael Meserve, minister counselor for political affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo, Tokyo Gov. Shintaro Ishihara and other guests.

Nakasone worked closely with Reagan while prime minister from 1982 to 1987 and forged a strong bond with the late president that became known in Japan as the “Ron-Yasu” relationship.

Nakasone donated the secluded 2.5-hectare cottage to the town of Hinode, western Tokyo, in November last year. The town refurbished it as a tourist attraction.

The memorial house will open to the public on Sunday.

The cottage features a tea room where Nakasone and Reagan held their talks and the Seiundo living room where Nakasone performed the tea ceremony for Reagan and his wife, Nancy.