In past meetings, Mr. Bush has done his best to paper over the differences. But his aides acknowledge that the gap has grown so much in recent months — “as wide as the Sea of Japan” one senior official said Wednesday — that it will be almost impossible to hide.*
Mr. Roh will receive treatment that contrasts sharply with the warm embrace extended in June to Japan’s prime minister, Junichiro Koizumi. Mr. Koizumi got long meetings, a glittering dinner and a trip to Graceland; Mr. Roh, leader of the other major United States ally in Asia, is getting an hour in the Oval Office and a quick lunch.