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The Summit In Tokyo : The Leaders: Personalities And Issuse

May 04, 1986

RONALD REAGAN U.S. President

At the summit, President Reagan is expected to divide his attention between the official economic agenda and the more immediate political questions of terrorism and Soviet relations. . . . On terrorism, he will press the allies to exert political, diplomatic and economic pressure on Libya and other nations suspected of harboring terrorists. . . . He will also urge a united front on East-West issues in advance of his hoped-for summit with Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev later this year. . . . . . The U.S. economy has outperformed most others since the worldwide recession of 1981-82, but remains beset by a gaping trade deficit and a massive budget deficit, which together threaten to erode long-term growth. . . . Reagan, 75, will explore the possibility of changing the international monetary system to stabilize currency fluctuations. . . . As at nearly all summits, the United States will also press for a lofty statement calling for a lowering of trade barriers. Since last year's Bonn summit, when U.S. efforts were fruitless, it has persuaded recalcitrant France to join a new round of trade talks that are scheduled to begin in September. . . . Reagan, who gets along well with Prime Minister Nakasone, seems satisfied that the Japanese leader is doing all he can to meet U.S. demands to open up Japanese markets to foreign goods.

YASUHIRO NAKASONE Japanese Prime Minister

With 15 consecutive terms in Parliament and five Cabinet appointments under his belt, Nakasone became Japan's leader in November, 1982, and is widely regarded as its most popular prime minister in history. . . . Although Japan enjoys remarkable political stability, the economic road ahead could be bumpy, some of it due to Tokyo's staggering $49.7-billion trade surplus with the U.S. Nakasone is under pressure from abroad to let the yen rise and shift the economy from its dependence on export profits, which could cause major dislocations for industry. . . . At the same time, Japan's business leaders are pushing the government to adopt an austerity budget that will pare huge government deficits. . . . Political rivals criticize Nakasone for letting the yen rise by more than 40% against the U.S. dollar, weakening the competitiveness of Japanese industries. . . . Nakasone, 67, would like to enhance his image at the summit and lead his party to a stable majority in elections expected in June. He is expected to try to prevent open criticism at the summit of Japan's whopping trade surpluses. . . . Much of the personal "Ron-Yasu" relationship between Reagan and Nakasone is intended for public consumption, but the two have met often enough to know each other fairly well. However, Nakasone has not had a chance to cultivate close ties with other Western leaders.

HELMUT KOHL West German Chancellor

In office 3 1/2 years, Kohl has often seemed inept at domestic politics but has managed the economy extremely well. . . . Primary goal in Tokyo is to head off any action that might endanger his economic successes in the critical months before general elections early next year. . . . U.S. and others are expected to argue that since West Germany, which imports all its energy sources, has benefited from plummeting oil prices, it should agree to accelerate its own growth rate and thus help stimulate overall world trade. . . . But Kohl, contending that a phased $9.1-billion tax cut now taking effect is as far as West Germany can go now without fueling inflation, is expected to resist the pressure. . . . Because West Germany relies heavily on exports, Kohl, 56, is also likely to push for tough wording against protectionism. . . . On the political front, West Germany is expected to support the U.S. and Britain in any call for strong action against terrorism. . . . Kohl's closest ally at the summit will be France's Mitterrand. The two get along well and met last month to consult on pre-summit strategy. . . . For nearly two years, the Kohl-Reagan relationship was one of mutual respect. But Kohl's insistence that Reagan visit the Bitburg war cemetery following last year's Bonn economic summit is thought to have cooled much of the warmth between the two.

FRANCOIS MITTERRAND French President

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