September 23rd, 2009
11:17 AM ET
9 years ago

Obama empathizes with new Japanese prime minister

Obama empathizes with new Japanese prime minister.

Obama empathizes with new Japanese prime minister.

NEW YORK (CNN) - President Barack Obama met Wednesday with Japan's new prime minister, saying afterwards he was impressed with Yukio Hatoyama's knowledge and determination.

The leaders of the world's two largest economies discussed international threats including nuclear proliferation, Afghanistan and Pakistan as well as climate change, Obama said.

He also expressed empathy for Hatoyama's having to attend a global summit so soon after taking office.

They met as world leaders gathered in New York for the opening of the United Nations General Assembly.

Hatoyama's Democratic Party of Japan won a landslide election in August to take power from the Liberal Democratic Party, which had run the country for nearly half a century.

Hatoyama ran on an Obama-style message of change, but also strongly criticized what he perceived as his opponent Taro Aso's pro-United States stance.

He said he will halt Japan's refueling missions in the Indian Ocean in support of U.S.-led coalition warships in and around Afghanistan.

But analysts say Hatoyama is unlikely to risk alienation abroad while he focuses on fixing what ails Japan domestically.

He vowed in his appearance with Obama that the two countries would work together on Afghanistan and North Korea, as well as nuclear nonproliferation and climate change.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, National Security Adviser James Jones, and U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice also attended the meeting, among other officials on both sides.

Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. TCM newsworthy...Obama sympathizing with another radical...did they eat sushi too? A little saki? Very lame, CNN

    September 23, 2009 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  2. Tre

    Hey, we cant understand her in the States and English is our native language.

    September 23, 2009 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  3. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Our president is a wonderful communicator.

    September 23, 2009 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  4. coffic

    Japan shouldn't feel too confident–it, too, will soon be under the bus.

    September 23, 2009 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  5. Idiot_Pelosi

    Has JAPAN's PM tripled the DEFICIT too?

    September 23, 2009 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  6. D. Tree

    Our leadership has gotten so much better since Obama took office.

    He and his team are actually using this Summit to engage with leaders for cooperation on global problems – as opposed to the previous administration, which only waved a stick and tried to boss all the other countries around.

    September 23, 2009 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  7. Scott, Tucson

    If these leaders are so serious about the threat of climate change than why don't they simply teleconference this meeting? The carbon footprint, as Al Gore likes to call it, would be huge considering the number of jets flying in for the meeting and add to that the convoys of limos running around NY city.

    September 23, 2009 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  8. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    So let's get this straight. while Obama sucks up to the guy, he's in process of ending Japan's support to our efforts in Afghanistan. Well, I guess diplomacy strikes again. A few more meetings like this and everyone will love us, but no one will lift a single finmger to help us. Way to go Barry!

    September 23, 2009 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  9. phoenix86

    Wonder if Obama apologized for Hiroshima and Nagasaki as well? Seems like since the new Japanese PM wants to take a harder line against the US, he has found a natural friend in Obama.

    September 23, 2009 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  10. J.P.

    How does one translate, "Uhhhh, uuuum, errrr, uhhh..." into Japanese?


    No one claimed Bush was literate, but Barry Duhhhhh-nam Obam-uhhhhh was touted as being the greatest advancement in communications since movable type. How's that been working out for uhhhhh, you?

    Keep talking Barry! Every time you open your Marlboro holster your ratings drop.

    September 23, 2009 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  11. Bush_Low_I.Q.

    Bush Lost Iraq War.

    Bush is Greedy for Oil.

    Bush never Got Iraq Oil.

    We lost our 4300 Lives (US TROOPs) because of CRIMINAL BUSH.

    September 23, 2009 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  12. Dan, TX

    Obama is helping America to become the great country it can be. We have to put away dogma and be practical.

    I am for the republican points of limiting malpractice lawsuits, shopping for insurance on-line (and not restricting it to American insurance companies either, I'd like to have the Canadian government option offered to US citizens as well).

    But we do need no exclusion of pre-existing conditions and no dropping people once they have severe medical expenses. I support a public option, but one that makes a profit that can be used to pay down the debt in the Medicare funding.

    If the republicans would just put their wishes on the table, without calling Obama the devil, they'd get a lot more from the democrats.

    The republican party needs some adults to take a leadership role.

    September 23, 2009 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |