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Bush speaks with Stanford students in Kyoto

Five Stanford students were among those present for talks by former Japanese Prime Minister Toshiki Kaifu and President George Bush last week in Kyoto, Japan. Juniors Greg Blackwood and Ryan Sinnock, and seniors Laura Malinasky, Chris Schaefer and Juliette Tanner are studying this year at the Kyoto Center for Japanese Studies. KCJS is a year-long study program in traditional and contemporary Japanese studies sponsored by a consortium of eight universities and managed by Stanford. It is housed at the Stanford Japan Center in Kyoto.

The Stanford students joined the other 35 KCJS students, as well as students from the Associated Kyoto Programs and the University of Michigan program at Lake Biwa, Texas A&M students from Koriyama, American students at Waseda University and a group of Japanese students studying American affairs at a Jan. 7 gathering for Bush and Kaifu at the Miyako Hotel.

Bush talked about the importance of developing language skills and an understanding of Japan as very important factors in helping to "pry open those Japanese markets." He stressed that studying political economy isn't enough and that literature, history, art and drama are just as important. KCJS students were the only Americans present who didn't have to wait for the translator to laugh at several humorous remarks during Kaifu's talk, which was in Japanese.

Kaifu complimented the students on their ability to speak Japanese later when he and the president and Mrs. Bush met with them for informal brief conversations. Several KCJS students also were interviewed by the Japanese press, in Japanese, for radio and television broadcast.



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