Koizumi Pleased to Have Seen "The Nutcracker"

Japanese Premier Junichiro Koizumi is pleased at having been able to watch Tchaikovsky's "The Nutcracker" in Moscow. He really enjoyed the ballet and the atmosphere of the Bolshoi Theater, he told Russian President Vladimir Putin in the Kremlin.

Koizumi admitted it was the first time he'd seen "The Nutcracker" live, even though he is a fan of classical music and of Tchaikovsky in particular.

Putin agreed with his Japanese counterpart. Watching Tchaikovsky's ballet in the composer's native country is a special treat, he said. "I know that the Japanese public has a liking for our musical bands - I know it from my friends who often tour Japan," he said. He also thanked the premier for his praise of the Russian theater.