Takeshi Endo / Yomiuri Shimbun Staff Writer
NEW YORK--"I can do business with him," U.S. President Barack Obama told his aides in evaluating Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda after their first summit meeting in New York on Wednesday, a source accompanying the prime minister has said.
On Thursday, the source reported being told about Obama's remark by the U.S. side.
The exact same comment was used by British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher to evaluate Mikhail Gorbachev in 1984, after they met when he was visiting Britain as the next general secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. He later became the Soviet president.
Thatcher quickly recognized Gorbachev was "different" from his predecessors and spoke highly of him to then U.S. President Ronald Reagan.
Meeting Thatcher's expectations, Gorbachev soon began discussions with the United States over seeking an end to the Cold War.
"I suppose the U.S. side was aware the phrase had been used by Thatcher in the past," said a governmental source. "It means [Obama] expects [Noda] to work appropriately as a trustworthy partner this time."
(Sep. 25, 2011)