Former President Ronald Reagan Wednesday effusively praised Japan in a reported $1 million speech - more than half the money he made in eight years in the White House - and declared the 21st century will see the greatest peace "in the entire history of man."
Reagan, accompanied by his wife, Nancy, reportedly will earn $2 million during his eight-day visit to Japan, hosted by a giant media conglomerate.Reagan, 78, whose visit is being compared to those of foreign royalty, previously was accorded Japan's highest civilian award, the Grand Cordon of the Supreme Order of the Chrysanthemum, in a palace ceremony before Emperor Akihito.
Reagan is hailed in Japan for fostering strong security ties and bucking congressional calls for economic retaliation against Tokyo over its growing trade surplus with the United States.
About 600 well-heeled Japanese and foreign guests turned out Wednesday night to dine on caviar-laden filet of sole and pricey Kobe beef at a gala dinner in which Reagan called on Japan to use its economic might to help Poland "make the transition from communism to free enterprise."
"This is your golden age," Reagan said of Japan. "Join us in a golden partnership for democracy in Poland and around the world. You understand how to build an economy from ruin to the envy of the free world."
News reports have said Reagan was earning $1 million for the speech, as well as another $1 million for a speech in Osaka Saturday.