National / Politics

Bush’s passing draws tributes from Japan’s politicians

Kyodo

Japanese politicians on Saturday mourned the passing of former U.S. President George H.W. Bush, with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe saying he “greatly contributed to strengthening Japan-U.S. relations.”

“(Bush) achieved many historic feats including ending the Cold War with the Soviet Union and showing leadership during the Gulf War,” Abe said in a written statement.

“Japan’s government and its people send our prayers,” he said.

Toshiki Kaifu, who was prime minister during the first half of Bush’s single term in office, reminisced about being invited to his home during a visit to the United States.

“We talked about many things and it was a valuable opportunity for me. I still remember how delicious the crispy bacon for breakfast was, and think back to those days whenever I have some,” he said in a statement.

Tadamori Oshima, who was deputy chief Cabinet secretary under Kaifu, said he remembers Bush being a “gentleman” and “great politician.”

Ichiro Ozawa, former secretary-general of the Liberal Democratic Party, said, “We were very friendly and I still have a picture of us together in my office. He had such a warm personality.”