I still don't trust Putin, though.
Meanwhile, there is much to be somewhat amused about in this report about the Abe/Putin "Onsen Summit" that's just starting. Some extracts:
Sushi, sashimi and wagyu beef was set be on the menu — and, in what could be a poor diplomatic decision, Mr Abe also planned to serve puffer fish to the Russian President.
One person dies each year in Japan — on average — after eating puffer fish that has been incorrectly prepared.
I wish Abe would send a gift pack of puffer fish to Trump. Never know your luck... (Come on - be honest: his boorish and dumb behaviour would have to make him streets ahead in the "President elect we most want to not to make it to the White House, and we don't care how" stakes, around the globe.)
And the bigger question: does Putin care to nude up in the interests of better foreign relationships?:
But the big question being asked in Japan is — will the two men climb into a hot-tub together?What would cause a bigger incident would be if Putin tries to get into the tub with bathers on. Could cause the outbreak of war, that faux pas.
It is odd for Australians to think about the idea of two middle-aged, straight men getting nude and chatting about world affairs while sitting in a pool of really hot water (42 degrees Celsius) — but in Japan, it is not that odd.
In a business setting, it is considered a natural extension of a working relationship — stripping back the layers builds trust and familiarity.
Mr Putin and Mr Abe might take an onsen together if the first stage of their talks go smoothly.