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Former Prime Minister Takeshita Prepared for Reagan Nobel Peace Prize in 1988

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Ronald Reagan and Noboru Takeshita shake hands in this undated photo.

In time for the 1988 announcement of the Nobel Peace Prize, the Japanese government prepared a draft of a congratulatory message under the name of Prime Minister Noboru Takeshita, ready to be sent if U.S. President Ronald Reagan won the prize, according to a diplomatic document released Wednesday.

The draft was shelved after the United Nations Peacekeeping Forces became the winner that year.

Reagan and then Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, who had signed the treaty to abolish intermediate-range nuclear forces (INF) the previous year, had been considered strong candidates for the prize in 1988.

Starting with “Dear Ron,” Takeshita praised him in the message, saying: “No doubt your Presidency will be recorded in history as having made invaluable contributions toward achieving peace.

“I look forward to an early opportunity to convey my sense of true joy and felicitations to you in person,” Takeshita said at the end of the message, which Reagan never received.