"On June 17, a day before Foreign Minister Makiko Tanaka would be meeting US Secretary of State Collin Powell, Ms. Tanaka visited German Town High School in Philadelphia where she studied for two years when she was a high school student.The alumnae of the high school gave Ms. Tanaka a grand welcome. She enjoyed a class reunion and talking with her old classmates. Ms. Tanaka did not accompany interpreters and stenographers. She made a remark about George Bush during her conversation with her classmates and her words will remain in the history of Japan's foreign ministers. When she entered the library, she sat in the same wooden chair she used when she was a student. She remarked, "I remember the smell of this chair. It has not changed at all." She was deep in sentimental memories of those days. Makiko Tanaka said, 'What I learned at this school was spiritualism based on religion, the principles of a simple life and love as well as peace. I learned how important it is to listen to others and express one's opinion. I have respected this principle throughout my entire life thus far." |
"Then, one classmate raised a political issue and said to her, "There is no scientific proof that the earth is warming and no legitimate reason why we need the 'star wars' missile defense system. Don't you think so?" Ms. Tanaka appreciated the question. In response to that question, Japan's Foreign Minister Makiko reportedly said, "I will definitely oppose the new missile defense plan proposed by President Bush. It is beyond my imagination that we need it." Ms. Tanaka's visit to Washington DC was agreed to by the US government after strenuous efforts by the Japanese government. The objective of her trip was to vindicate what she expressed about US foreign policies at meetings with her counterparts from other countries. She conveyed her messages of criticism about the foreign polices of the US government to them. She must have told them faithfully what she believed. Her address immediately caused problems in the Japanese political world.
"During the conversation with her old classmates at the reception in German Town High School, The Weekly Post learned that Ms. Tanaka made a remark about George Bush, "He is totally an asshole" in English. The majority of her classmates seemed to support the Republican Party, however, they were critical about Mr. Bush's new missile defense plan. When Ms. Tanaka made this remark, the classmates in the room were reportedly excited.There has never been a statesman in Japanese history that called a US president, 'an asshole.'" --Weekly Post Editorial, 6/25/01