Thursday, March 31, 2005
BBC NEWS | Asia-Pacific | Koizumi takes a turn with Gere:
"Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi and the Hollywood actor Richard Gere have treated reporters to an impromptu ballroom dance performance.
Mr Koizumi took Gere's hand in front of a roomful of journalists and asked 'Shall We Dance?'- the title of Gere's latest movie.
Gere obliged, but insisted on taking the lead, as the two twirled around the room for a few seconds.
Afterwards Gere described Mr Koizumi as 'charming and spontaneous'.
Mr Koizumi returned the compliment, saying Gere, who is in Japan to promote Shall We Dance, was a great movie star and a wonderful person.
The twirl follows Gere's endorsement on Monday of Mr Koizumi's views regarding an arms ban on China.
Gere said he approved of Mr Koizumi's opposition to a plan by the European Union to lift the ban, which was put in place following the Tiananmen Square crackdown.
The film star is well known for his advocacy of better human rights in Tibet.
Mr Koizumi, whose popularity has dipped of late, has been known to perform with stars before.
Two years ago, he sang the Elvis Presley hit 'I want you, I need you, I love you' with actor Tom Cruise."