February 27, 2007

ALONG THE AXIS:

The great Japan-Mongolia love affair (Hisane Masaki, 2/28/07, Asia Times)

Japan rolled out the red carpet for Mongolian President Nambaryn Enkhbayar when, at Tokyo's invitation, he arrived on Monday for a five-day visit for talks with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and a luncheon hosted by Emperor Akihito in his honor at the Imperial Palace.

Ostensibly, the Mongolian leader's visit is to mark the 35th anniversary of the two countries' establishing diplomatic relations in February 1972. But Tokyo has another particular reason to extend the greatest possible hospitality to him. Only a month ago, Tokyo received a much-appreciated diplomatic present from Ulan Bator.

Abe and Enkhbayar agreed in a telephone conversation on January 24 that Japan will seek a non-permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council for a two-year term starting in 2009 in lieu of Mongolia. Enkhbayar conveyed to Abe Mongolia's decision to withdraw its bid for a seat to let Japan run for the post.

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 27, 2007 7:30 AM
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