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Obuchi To Visit Ex-Kennedy Secretary

May 2, 1999 GMT

WASHINGTON (AP) _ On his visit to Washington this week, Japanese Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi meets with President Clinton and Vice President Al Gore.

He dines at a White House state dinner, lays a wreath at Arlington National Cemetery and huddles with senators and business leaders.

Then there’s a visit with Angela Novello, who arranged a meeting 36 years ago between a young Obuchi and Robert F. Kennedy, her boss at the time.

Obuchi, then a college student, was in the audience in 1962 when then-Attorney General Kennedy spoke at the University of Waseda in Tokyo.

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``He was so impressed by that speech that he had an ambition to be a politician,″ said Tsuyoshi Yamamoto, first secretary of the Embassy of Japan.

Obuchi came to the United States the following year and wanted to meet Kennedy. He made his request to Novello, who was Kennedy’s secretary, and she got the two men together at the Washington YMCA, where Obuchi was staying.