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Bush, Koizumi sing a duet at White House welcome / The president's gift of a jukebox to the Elvis-loving Japanese leader prompts crooning

 
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Bush, Koizumi sing a duet at White House welcome / The president's gift of a jukebox to the Elvis-loving Japanese leader prompts crooning
Bush, Koizumi sing a duet at White House welcome

The president's gift of a jukebox to the Elvis-loving Japanese leader prompts crooning

By NEDRA PICKLER
Associated Press

WASHINGTON - It's not every day that two world leaders croon to each other, I Want You, I Need You, I Love You.

Clearly President Bush has special feelings for Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, and he put them on full display from morning until night Thursday at the White House.

The love fest began with an elaborate welcoming ceremony on the South Lawn and an exchange of gifts inside afterward.

Koizumi gave the sports-loving president a bike and an enlarged version of the Japanese postage stamp that features Babe Ruth. The Bushes gave the Elvis-loving prime minister a refurbished 1954 jukebox that includes 25 songs by his favorite singer.

"Prime Minister Koizumi searched the keys and found I Want You, I Need You, I Love You," first lady Laura Bush said. "He and the president sang a duet."

In the evening, the Bushes hosted a formal dinner, the eighth of their White House tenure. The dinner was in honor of Koizumi, who leaves office in September after five years in office.

The divorced Koizumi did not have a date. He made his entrance between the president and Laura Bush, who wore a taupe dress by Bill Blass with cherry blossoms hand-painted on the Chantilly lace bodice.

The guest list included two Japanese-American Olympic athletes — speed skater Apolo Anton Ohno and ice skater Kristi Yamaguchi — astronaut Soichi Noguchi and baseball great Hank Aaron.

Bush paid Koizumi the ultimate compliment, comparing the prime minister to Elvis, who Bush noted also once visited the White House.

"Like you, he had great hair," Bush joked during the dinner toasts. "Like you, he was known to sing in public. And like you, he won admirers in countries far from home."
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Re: Bush, Koizumi sing a duet at White House welcome / The president's gift of a jukebox to the Elvis-loving Japanese leader prompts crooning
ROCK 'N' ROLL
DIPLOMACY


By JULIE MASON
Copyright 2006 Houston Chronicle

MEMPHIS - President Bush chatting with Lisa Marie Presley. The Japanese prime minister singing from Man of La Mancha. The Air Force One galley crew serving fried peanut butter and banana sandwiches.

Historians may be hard pressed to choose the strangest image from Bush's visit to Graceland on Friday with Japan's Junichiro Koizumi, lifelong and devout Elvis Presley fan.

But it was clear that a corner was turned in U.S diplomatic relations. No longer is a visit to Prairie Chapel Ranch in Crawford the measure of alliance with the commander in chief. Now it takes a visit to the holy church of American kitsch.

At the mansion/tourist attraction where Presley lived and died, Koizumi was so visibly happy it appeared at times he might levitate. And he broke into song, Elvis song, every few moments.

"I knew he loved Elvis," Bush said. "I didn't realize how much he loved Elvis."

The venerated home was closed to the public for the Bush-Koizumi visit. The two, along with first lady Laura Bush, got a private tour from Priscilla and Lisa Marie Presley, widow and daughter of the music icon, respectively.

The pilgrimage was a first for Bush, a first for Koizumi, and the first time an American president toured Graceland.

"When I was young, my exposure to America was Presley — which is a vivid memory of my youth," said Koizumi, 64. "The first English song I ever learned by heart was Presley's I Want You, I Need You, I Love You," a 1956 hit single.
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Re: Bush, Koizumi sing a duet at White House welcome / The president's gift of a jukebox to the Elvis-loving Japanese leader prompts crooning
THE JAPANESE ELVIS

Five facts about Japan's outgoing prime minister:

•Koizumi and Elvis Presley have the same birthday, Jan. 8. The Japanese leader says the coincidence is "one of the things I'm so proud of"

•Koizumi's brother, Masaya, once ran the Elvis fan club in Yokohama. He was also instrumental in erecting a Presley statue in Tokyo.

•In 2003, Koizumi sang Elvis songs with actor Tom Cruise while the star was in Japan to promote The Last Samurai .

•After taking office in 2001, Koizumi released a CD of his 25 favorite Elvis hits, including Are you Lonesome Tonight? Proceeds went to charity.

•On Thursday, President Bush gave Koizumi a jukebox with Elvis songs and Koizumi, in halting English said: "Thank you very much American people for Love Me Tender "
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Re: Bush, Koizumi sing a duet at White House welcome / The president's gift of a jukebox to the Elvis-loving Japanese leader prompts crooning
bushhitler givedamn
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Re: Bush, Koizumi sing a duet at White House welcome / The president's gift of a jukebox to the Elvis-loving Japanese leader prompts crooning
yak
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07/03/2006 07:09 PM
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Re: Bush, Koizumi sing a duet at White House welcome / The president's gift of a jukebox to the Elvis-loving Japanese leader prompts crooning
I miss John Ashcroft's tenor croon.
Ojos de Brujo
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07/03/2006 08:36 PM
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Re: Bush, Koizumi sing a duet at White House welcome / The president's gift of a jukebox to the Elvis-loving Japanese leader prompts crooning
" This is the End,.... my only friend ! " THE DOORS... its this way.... sheeplebah [link to www.youtube.com]