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Public Papers - 1992 - January

Exchange With Reporters Prior to Discussions With Prime Minister Kiichi Miyazawa of Japan in Tokyo


President's Health

Q. Mr. President, what can you say to reassure people that you're all right, sir?

The President. Tell them to talk to my doctor. I feel pretty good. Coming back strong. I've got a 24-hour flu. But I feel pretty good. I had a fair sleep, slept this morning. Still mainly on fluids. But I think it was just one of those bounces that come along. But I'm feeling all right.

Try to pace it for this afternoon, go over a little business here with -- and I apologize to the Prime Minister for such a shabby performance.

But you know one thing, Mr. Prime Minister, it was wonderful, the flowers and cards from your associates. It was very touching. And it is not that serious, but it was so sweet to do that.

Q. Are you back to normal, sir, or are you still a little under the weather?

The President. Well, I don't think I'll go running this afternoon. But I'm, I'd say, close to back to normal. This is a 24-hour thing, and apparently I got it over the evening. But I really do feel pretty good, Rita [Rita Beamish, Associated Press]. Not as strong as I'd like to be, but strong enough to continue on now.

Q. Are you going to slow down the pace a little bit, sir?

The President. Nope.

Q. Why not?

The President. Well, because everybody gets the flu. Some of you guys have had it. You can't change your pace because of that. This is just a 24-hour bug. I've been very lucky, lucky, knock on wood, for the last 3 years, and I've been relatively spared of the flu. I've had a flu shot, so I hoped that that would guard against it. But all the signs -- Burt Lee can tell you -- but the heart and all, the EKG, all the things they do just to doublecheck are perfect, absolutely perfect.

Trade With Japan

Q. Sir, are you going to get the sweeping changes on trade that you wanted instead of the piecemeal changes that you talked about and said you didn't want?

The President. Well, we're going to talk about that today. But the Prime Minister has been extraordinarily cooperative, and we're going to have some good discussions. But I'd rather wait until we get a full package to be discussed. But put it this way, I don't want to put words in his mouth, but I'm quite encouraged. And as you know, from day one, even before we got here, Prime Minister Miyazawa's approach has been one that I've appreciated very, very much. The things he has said and now the way he is driving his team to do what I'm doing, driving our team to come to agreement.

So, did you want to add to that?

The Prime Minister. I'm so glad, President, that I think everything is all right. We will shortly announce our joint resolve this afternoon. And I'm glad the President is in such good shape that he can now enjoy the rest of his stay here, and he's having dinner this evening.

President's Health

The President. So anyway, why, it all worked out well. A little alarmed there. I felt so embarrassed.

The Prime Minister. No, no, that happens to everybody.

The President. I got a preview in the receiving line. And I turned to the Prime Minister, and I said, ``Would you please excuse me?'' And I rushed into the men's room there, and then I thought that had taken care of it. But back I came, and it happened, and oh, it was just the beginning.

Q. Are you going to tell him to take it easy on you today in the trade talks because you've been ill? [Laughter]

Q. Mr. President, did you see the TV pictures of what happened last night, sir?

The President. I'm not sure I want to, but I heard it was pretty dramatic.

The Prime Minister. I did.

The President. Did you see it?

The Prime Minister. Just normal, kind of, nothing out of the ordinary.

Q. When did you start feeling ill? Early in the day or earlier?

The President. Really sick, you mean? Well, late in the afternoon I had a little indication, then at the reception, and then, of course, at the dinner.

Thank you all.

Q. Feel better, sir. Feel better.

The President. Thanks a lot. I really do.

Note: The exchange began at 1:38 p.m. prior to an expanded bilateral meeting at the Akasaka Palace. In his remarks, the President referred to Dr. Burton J. Lee III, Physician to the President.

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