The buildup has continued over the past few days for this weekend’s rescheduled summit meeting between Russian President Boris Yeltsin and Japanese Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto. The informal meeting, to be held in the Japanese resort town of Kawana, had originally been scheduled for April 11-13, but was postponed because of the recent political turmoil in Russia. At that time, the Kremlin had cited the need to win parliamentary approval for Prime Minister-designate Sergei Kirienko as one reason for rescheduling.
Despite Kirienko’s rejection by lawmakers on April 10, however, presidential spokesman Sergei Yastrzhembsky told reporters after the vote that the trip was still on. That message was repeated yesterday, when Yastrzhembsky said that Yeltsin would fly to Japan on the evening of April 17 — after the Russian State Duma votes once again on Kirienko’s candidacy. Yeltsin, who is to return to Moscow on April 20, will be accompanied to Japan by both his wife Naina and his daughter — and adviser — Tatiana Dyachenko. (Itar-Tass, April 10; Itar-Tass, Kyodo, April 13)
Mixed Signals from Tokyo and Moscow?