RONALD REAGAN U.S. President
At the summit, President Reagan is expected to divide his attention between the official economic agenda and the more immediate political questions of terrorism and Soviet relations. . . . On terrorism, he will press the allies to exert political, diplomatic and economic pressure on Libya and other nations suspected of harboring terrorists. . . . He will also urge a united front on East-West issues in advance of his hoped-for summit with Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev later this year. . . . . . The U.S. economy has outperformed most others since the worldwide recession of 1981-82, but remains beset by a gaping trade deficit and a massive budget deficit, which together threaten to erode long-term growth. . . . Reagan, 75, will explore the possibility of changing the international monetary system to stabilize currency fluctuations. . . . As at nearly all summits, the United States will also press for a lofty statement calling for a lowering of trade barriers. Since last year's Bonn summit, when U.S. efforts were fruitless, it has persuaded recalcitrant France to join a new round of trade talks that are scheduled to begin in September. . . . Reagan, who gets along well with Prime Minister Nakasone, seems satisfied that the Japanese leader is doing all he can to meet U.S. demands to open up Japanese markets to foreign goods.
YASUHIRO NAKASONE Japanese Prime Minister
With 15 consecutive terms in Parliament and five Cabinet appointments under his belt, Nakasone became Japan's leader in November, 1982, and is widely regarded as its most popular prime minister in history. . . . Although Japan enjoys remarkable political stability, the economic road ahead could be bumpy, some of it due to Tokyo's staggering $49.7-billion trade surplus with the U.S. Nakasone is under pressure from abroad to let the yen rise and shift the economy from its dependence on export profits, which could cause major dislocations for industry. . . . At the same time, Japan's business leaders are pushing the government to adopt an austerity budget that will pare huge government deficits. . . . Political rivals criticize Nakasone for letting the yen rise by more than 40% against the U.S. dollar, weakening the competitiveness of Japanese industries. . . . Nakasone, 67, would like to enhance his image at the summit and lead his party to a stable majority in elections expected in June. He is expected to try to prevent open criticism at the summit of Japan's whopping trade surpluses. . . . Much of the personal "Ron-Yasu" relationship between Reagan and Nakasone is intended for public consumption, but the two have met often enough to know each other fairly well. However, Nakasone has not had a chance to cultivate close ties with other Western leaders.
HELMUT KOHL West German Chancellor
In office 3 1/2 years, Kohl has often seemed inept at domestic politics but has managed the economy extremely well. . . . Primary goal in Tokyo is to head off any action that might endanger his economic successes in the critical months before general elections early next year. . . . U.S. and others are expected to argue that since West Germany, which imports all its energy sources, has benefited from plummeting oil prices, it should agree to accelerate its own growth rate and thus help stimulate overall world trade. . . . But Kohl, contending that a phased $9.1-billion tax cut now taking effect is as far as West Germany can go now without fueling inflation, is expected to resist the pressure. . . . Because West Germany relies heavily on exports, Kohl, 56, is also likely to push for tough wording against protectionism. . . . On the political front, West Germany is expected to support the U.S. and Britain in any call for strong action against terrorism. . . . Kohl's closest ally at the summit will be France's Mitterrand. The two get along well and met last month to consult on pre-summit strategy. . . . For nearly two years, the Kohl-Reagan relationship was one of mutual respect. But Kohl's insistence that Reagan visit the Bitburg war cemetery following last year's Bonn economic summit is thought to have cooled much of the warmth between the two.
FRANCOIS MITTERRAND French President
Other leaders at the summit may find it difficult determining who speaks for France--Francois Mitterrand, 69, the Socialist president, or Jacques Chirac, 53, the conservative Gaullist premier, both of whom will attend. Under the French Constitution, Chirac runs economic policy but Mitterrand signs international treaties and has a strong hand in foreign affairs. . . . In last March's elections, the conservatives took control of Parliament from the Socialists, and now France for the first time since 1958 has a president and premier of different political stripes. . . . The two men have been trying to get along, but a recent poll found that the French themselves do not agree on who is running their country. . . . With oil prices and the dollar both down, the French economy has improved recently, with the GNP growing, retail sales up and inflation dropping. . . . The two men come to Tokyo with opposite economic ideologies: Mitterrand believes in strong direction by the state; Chirac campaigned on a platform committing France to a free-market economy. . . . The summit will be Mitterrand's sixth but the first for Chirac, who has presidential ambitions. . . . Chirac has sidestepped one potential protocol problem for his Japanese hosts--the decision as to which French leader to invite to the traditional conference-eve dinner today--since he will not arrive in Tokyo until Monday.
MARGARET THATCHER British Prime Minister
Even before she allowed American F-111s to launch their raid on Libya from Britain, Thatcher was widely regarded as the European leader closest to Reagan. In Tokyo, there is little doubt the two will work closely on political issues, including a call for tough action on terrorism. . . . In economic matters, Thatcher, like Reagan, is expected to apply pressure on the Japanese and the West Germans to cut huge trade surpluses. . . . British officials, pleased by the gradual decline in the dollar, feel that the Japanese yen needs to be stronger as one way to lessen the trade surplus. Thatcher is likely to team up with Reagan on this issue. . . . She is expected to applaud Washington's efforts to shrink its ballooning budget deficit but to note that global economic stability requires still more progress. . . . Thatcher, 60, is probably still more than a year away from an election, but pundits say domestic problems, including the country's highest unemployment rate since World War II, are likely to trouble her reelection campaign. . . . As with West Germany's Kohl, the major achievement during her seven years in office is a healthier British economy--lower inflation, higher output and higher overall growth. . . . Like Kohl, she will be pressing for a new round of tariff cuts and other measures to stimulate world trade that could, in turn, inspire new growth in the British economy.
BETTINO CRAXI Italian Prime Minister
Bettino Craxi, a minority Socialist holding power at the sufferance of a moderate, five-party coalition, became prime minister of Italy in August, 1983, and has lasted in office longer than any Italian leader since World War II. . . . At the summit, he is likely to note the problems of Third World countries in repaying their debts and the reduced purchases of European goods by the oil-producing countries that have suffered from the plummeting price of oil. In general, though, political and economic specialists in Italy say Craxi has no overriding agenda for Tokyo but is mainly concerned that Italy remain a player on the world economic scene. . . . Some Italian officials acknowledge that the issue of terrorism, and its effect on Italy, may overshadow Craxi's economic concerns at the summit. An Italian treasury official noted that U.S.-Italian ties suffered last year when President Reagan became furious with Craxi for releasing the accused ringleader of the Palestinian terrorists who hijacked an Italian cruise liner and killed an elderly American . . . As the first Italian prime minister to visit Japan in 13 years, Craxi, 52, will attach great importance to his meetings with Prime Minister Nakasone. He wants to bolster trade between the two countries while trying to even out the balance of trade, now tilting heavily in Japan's favor.
BRIAN MULRONEY Canadian Prime Minister
Head of the Progressive Conservatives, Mulroney, 47, took office in September, 1984, with the aim of increasing U.S. investment in Canada and negotiating a free-trade agreement with Washington. But his approach to international economic politics has been uncertain. . . . During last year's economic summit, he tried to play peacemaker between France and the U.S., without success. . . . He is frustrated by the perception that Canada, despite its status as one of the world's eight largest industrial economies, is not a major player in international economics. . . . He was particularly embarrassed by not being invited to the join the Group of Five when it met in New York last year to deal with the problem of the strong dollar. . . . In Tokyo, Mulroney is expected to promote Canada as an important if not crucial power that must be heeded. He will push for greater access to world markets by attacking protectionism, particularly by Japan and the European Communities. . . . In non-economic matters, he will generally stand behind U.S. efforts to combat terrorism, although he likely will continue to stress the need to solve its root causes. . . . His real effort, some Canadian officials say privately, will be to be heard and seen at home as an equal partner among the world economic powers, someone whose prestige abroad might equal that once enjoyed by Pierre Elliott Trudeau.