This weekend, the delivery guy brought an envelope bearing those three little words every gay man loves to hear: “Unframed art enclosed.” A present for my birthday (today–exactly ten years younger than Taylor Dayne) from my old roommate in New York. Of course, since I haven’t found a new apartment yet–in the middle of looking–it’s going to stay enclosed and unframed for a bit.
In less aesthetically pleasing news, Empress Michiko is suffering from stress-induced intestinal bleeding. (Irreverent question: if they’re the intestines of the sitting empress, do we call them 御腸–miwata, maybe? Seems like a word that might do nicely in a waka written by her exalted husband to celebrate her recovery.) I’m being flippant about the level of detail, but of course the condition is serious enough. For those who might have thought that Princess Masako’s adjustment problems were the kind of thing that might iron itself out in a decade or three, the example of the empress, who’s been beset by stress-related ailments pretty regularly, sadly offers little hope. Empress Michiko was also a commoner before marrying Akihito. She wasn’t an up-and-coming diplomat like Masako, but she was the active daughter of a rich industrialist and lived a varied life.
Japan and the DPRK will be discussing the abductee issue and possible normalization of relations between the two countries. You will not be surprised to hear that it’s Japan that wants to know what happened to the remainder of its abducted citizens and the DPRK that wants money:
Japanese and North Korean delegations agreed Tuesday to discuss the abduction issue on Wednesday and diplomatic normalization Thursday during a two-day bilateral working group meeting within the framework of the six-party talks.
The two sides agreed during informal talks Tuesday that the two sides would separately discuss “pending issues including the abduction issue” on Wednesday and “normalization” on Thursday.
The government welcomed the fact that the North Korean side agreed to first discuss the issue of the abduction of Japanese nationals by North Korea, as Pyongyang has claimed the issue has already been settled. The government hopes to see some progress during the Wednesday talks.
I guess we’ll know by the end of the day.