Japan talks tough with Iran

At the world food price summit in Rome on Tuesday, Japan’s unpopular and grey PM, Mr Fukuda, took Iran’s fiery Mr Ahmadinejad to one side and told him to stop enriching uranium.

According to the report posted on Japan Today Mr Fukuda said:

‘‘I have one request, which is to ask for the courageous decision to stop uranium enrichment.’’

After what we presume to have been only a few moments silence, the Iranian leader looked squarely at Mr Fukuda and said, “no.” Mr Fukuda is reported to have said that the meeting went well and that he “heard a good story.” We are sure that he did.

It was Japan’s first bilateral meeting at summit with Iran since President Khatami and Prime Minister Mori met in 2000. Since then Iran-Japan relations have not gone as smoothly as it was hoped with Inpex Holdings pulling out the Azadegan project and Japan’s political leaders generally siding with the US view of Iran as a rogue state.

Mr Fukuda gets credit for meeting Mr Ahmadinejad but wins no prizes for skillful diplomacy. The press will be ready to roast him when he returns…


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