About 150 guests Saturday celebrated the opening of former Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone’s private mountain cottage in Tokyo as a memorial hall to commemorate the place where Nakasone held his summit with then U.S. President Ronald Reagan in 1983.
in Tokyo on Saturday where
|Former Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone walks in front of the tea room – |
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.
“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.