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Tuesday, 19 February, 2002, 11:13 GMT
On tour with President Bush - Day Two
The BBC's Nick Bryant is travelling with US President George W Bush on his tour of Asia. He will be sending us regular e-mails charting the president's progress around the region.


Day Two - Dateline: Tokyo
0950GMT, 17 February

After the driving snow of Alaska, the steady drizzle of Tokyo.

President Bush arrived under low, charcoal clouds, the brash neon advertising hoardings of downtown Tokyo struggling to penetrate the gloom.

Earlier in the day, some 75 helmeted students gathered close to the American Embassy carrying anti-imperialist, anti-Bush and anti-Koizumi placards.


The big news is that the president was asleep as his 747 cruised over the international dateline. Hold the front page

But there are reports, too, of people shouting pro-Bush chants to greet his arrival.

Our first "pool report" has just arrived from the newspaper correspondent assigned to travel with the president on Air Force One from Alaska.

Within 30 minutes of our arrival, it has been neatly typed up by a White House aide and handed to each one of the 150 reporters crowded into our "filing centre", the ballroom of a local hotel.

US ambassador to Tokyo with President Bush
The president - after a peaceful mid-air sleep - is dined by Ambassador Baker
The big news is that the president was asleep as his 747 cruised over the international dateline. Hold the front page.

Then it was off to the American Embassy to greet diplomats and staff (a feature of every presidential visit, anywhere in the world) and dinner with US Ambassador Howard Baker, the three-term Republican Senator from Tennessee, Ronald Reagan's former chief staff (one of his first tasks after taking the job was to test Reagan's mental competency) and an old family friend.

Baker is one of Washington's great "political fixers", and he's now ploughing his trade in Tokyo.

It's been a low-key start to the visit, the president resting up for the business end of the trip.

Click here for Day One

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