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Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy Enjoys Tokyo

Feb. 5, 1962 - Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy sat on the counter of a working-class bar in Tokyo tonight and discussed world problems with the other customers. They covered the subjects of communism, labor unions, and U.S. trade and tariff policy toward Japanese exports. Then, at the Attorney General’s suggestion, they began singing. The regulars sang a coal-miners’ song. Mr. Kennedy and a few Americans on hand sang what he jokingly called “an old American song” — “When Irish Eyes Are Smiling.” The bar’s proprietress, Mitsuko Noguchi, who had apparently been told of Mr. Kennedy’s drinking habits, had poured him two glasses of milk. He did not touch them. Instead, he downed some sake — hot, spiced Japanese wine. The episode in a bar on the Ginza, a main street in Tokyo, was the conclusion of a long day for Mr. Kennedy. The Attorney General called on Premier Hayato Ikeda (pictured right), Foreign Minister Zentaro Kosaka and Minister of Justice Koshiro Ueki. He also visited the Japanese Diet (Parliament) and Supreme Court and was the guest of honor at a U.S. Embassy reception.

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