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'In Your Eye' - President Bush's Birthday Wish

Monday, 07 Jul 2008 09:15 AM

Embattled US President George W. Bush celebrated his 62nd birthday by making a wish Japanese-style - by inking in the eye of a doll given to him by the country's prime minister.

The president, who is battling a slumping economy, bad poll ratings and a bitter six-year-old war in Iraq, painted a pupil into the eye of the doll presented to him at a dinner with Japan's Yasuo Fukuda late Sunday, an official said.

The traditional "Daruma" doll is hollow and round with blank white eyes and is named after Bodhidharma, legendary Buddhist monk and founder of Zen. The recipient is expected to make a wish after dotting the eye.

"Please make a wish when you fill in a single circular eye," Fukuda explained to Bush, according to the Japanese official.

"The president then circled an eye while thinking," he said.

There was no word what Bush, whose eight-year term in office ends in six months, wished for.

The dinner between the allies, who are attending the Group of Eight summit on the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido, took place on Bush's birthday on the eve of the meeting of leaders of rich countries.

Bush was also presented with a baseball windbreaker and a birthday cake shaped like a ball park with a Texas Rangers logo in consideration of his favorite sport.

"The president told our prime minister that he thought 62 years would be quite an old age when he was young, but he said he doesn't feel so now," the official said.

Bush added that he was looking forward to riding a mountain bike during his stay in a hill-top hotel surrounded by woods, the official said.

© 1994-2008 Agence France-Presse


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