Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will be coming to Japan next week on her first visit in her new official capacity. While no one can say for sure if she'll think to bring Prime Minister Aso some Valentine's Day chocolate, she will likely meet with him to discuss the global economic situation, and may ask for help from Japan in making reforms in the U.S. auto industry. She has also expressed interest in meeting with the families of the 17 Japanese kidnapped by North Korea, a terrible situation, but one that seems very far from Washington. As one of the most powerful women in the world, Hillary is quite famous over here, reported in the news often and known to everyone here. Although the number of women in Japan's national legislature is only slightly lower than that of the U.S., female politicians of Ms. Clinton's stature are quite rare in Japan. The closest would probably be Yuriko Koike, a former newscaster and one of Japan's highest-profile female Diet members, who was responsible for the government policy of banning suits and ties among Diet members in the summer, to allow the air conditioning to be turned down to save money. Which is another example of avoiding being mottainai.
Will Hillary bring some chocolate for Prime Minister Aso?