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In Japan, on business


Tokyo: He did his best, but Arnold the would-be statesman could not quite shake off Arnie the film star. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Governor of California, and a 57-strong entourage of business leaders flew into Tokyo earlier this week (in the picture). He was, commentators noted, the first visiting politician to be greeted at the airport by crowds of screaming, camera-wielding fans. He was at pains to point out that this was a tour to promote California, but the Terminator struggled to get the message through. Japan is familiar territory for Mr. Schwarzenegger, where he is known by the affectionate nickname Shuwa-chan. Even the Prime Minister, Junichiro Koizumi — another star turned politician — appeared a little awestruck when the two met on Friday. ``You're very popular,'' Mr. Schwarzenegger told Mr. Koizumi, who was until recently the most popular Japanese Prime Minister in living memory. ``You too,'' Mr. Koizumi replied. ``More popular than Bush.'' Mr. Schwarzenegger quickly made light of the comment. ``He's very funny, very complimentary always,'' he said. ``He still thought I looked like a Mr. Universe, which I am not.'' —

Guardian Newspapers Limited 2004

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