According to this article Japan’s prime minister schedule in Romania was seriously impacted by the local political crisis:

Japan’s prime minister travelled 8,700 kilometres to make a historic visit to Romania — only to find his opposite number wasn’t there to welcome him.

Shinzo Abe became the first-ever Japanese head of government to make an official trip to Bucharest when he arrived on Tuesday (January 16).

While Abe's cancelled his visit to Romania's government, lower level meetings still took place between state officials and the Japanese delegation.

So, if I understood correctly, not being able to meet the prime-minister in person automatically canceled the meeting (no other person can have the discussions on behalf of the Government - e.g. minister of foreign affairs).

Some analysts argued that a great opportunity was missed by not having this meeting at high-level.

Question: Is high-level political meetings not having a "fallback" something usual in politics?

1 Answer 1


It's not as if the Prime Minister suffered a sudden illness or some other personal crisis. In that case, I imagine Abe would have been willing to meet with the Foreign Minister or some other official.

In a famous example of a leader being "ill", there was an incident in 1994 in which Russian President Boris Yeltsin was scheduled to meet with the Taoiseach (Prime Minister) of the Republic of Ireland. In the event, Yeltsin was too "tired" to disembark from his plane, and Vice Premier Oleg Soskovets met with the Irish delegation instead. (Yeltsin's "tiredness" may have been a polite euphemism for being drunk.)

In this instance, the entire Romanian government has collapsed. A caretaker Prime Minister and cabinet are in place; but they would have no authority to undertake any serious discussions with Abe, and will likely be replaced soon. So the Japanese government may have felt there was little point in meeting them; and it might even have been detrimental to their relations with whatever government replaces the caretakers.

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