Obama in Tokyo
U.S. President Barak Obama was here on Thursday, April 24-Friday, April 25. The Japanese were very excited about it. I was a little excited about it because he arrived and departed from Haneda Airport, not Narita Airport, and that makes him seem like a much more real and three-dimensional person to me. Haneda Airport is right in Tokyo, but it was relegated mostly to domestic flights after Narita Airport in Chiba Prefecture opened for business in the mid-1970s. Although I’ve never been there, I see planes taking off and some landing at Haneda all the time from my weekend wedding job. The staff cafeteria on the 27th floor of the hotel where I work gives me a good view. Also, when I occasionally do weddings at the Tokyo Disneyland Resort Hotels’ Sheraton Hotel I get an even better view - directly across Tokyo harbour, without any interrupted view from urban skyscrapers. I could clearly imagine his plane landing and that helped me clearly imagine him as a real flesh-and-blood, three dimensional person - the kind of guy who might actually walk into a room with me and start talking intelligibly. It’s weird. I have very rarely actually seen famous people, of course. A couple of my students from the Tokyo High School of Science and Technology were selected/rewarded/chosen/assigned (take your pick) to be among a ‘representative’ group of young people to see him close up when he visited the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation on Thursday 24th. What a terrible name for the national science museum. Better to have called it the National Science Museum. But the name got spoiled as a result of a political agenda to sound trendy and progressive. It was a school day, but the government wanted an audience of students visible with the president at the event for publicity.