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George W. Bush: Yen for Bloopers

One day during a visit to Japan in February 2002, George W. Bush announced that he had met with Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi and "talked about non-performing loans, the devaluation issue and regulatory reform."

White House officials quickly intervened, explaining that Bush had "mis-spoken" and had meant to say "deflation" instead of "devaluation"...

The purpose of Bush's visit? To show "support" for Koizumi's economic policies. The effect of Bush's visit? He accidentally sent the Japanese Yen tumbling against the dollar (as speculation mounted that Japan would force its value down to make its exports more competitive).

["My trip to Asia begins here in Japan for an important reason," Bush remarked. "It begins here because for a century and a half now, America and Japan have formed one of the great and enduring alliances of modern times. From that alliance has come an era of peace in the Pacific." Bush, said one commentator, "apparently forgot about a little something called World War II!"]

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