You can't make this stuff up.
My friend the Maritime Security Expert says that the Japanese have no sense of irony. She said this after working outside Tokyo for six months. She said this again when giving me a keychain shaped like Prime Minister Koizumi (it looks like a caricature, with an enlarged head relative to the rest of his body). "It could have been Winnie the Pooh," she said. "Makes no difference."
But surely, surely, SURELY Koizumi knew that it would be considered ironic if he sang "Love Me Tender" to Lisa-Marie. I mean, who goes to Graceland and manages not to smirk?
Then again. There are people who take Elvis really, really seriously. Four years ago we went to Graceland for our annual girls' weekend. Unfortunately, we inadvertently scheduled the weekend for the 25th anniversary of Elvis' passing from this mortal coil. I'll spare you the details, but suffice it to say that I don't ever expect to again see that many Elvis impersonators of such diverse ancestry. (Oooh! Apparently they have a professional organization! Must be a great place to trade tips on applying pomade and avoiding getting tangled up in the wings on your American Eagle jumpsuit.) Nor do I ever again want to have see so many floral renditions of Elvis at a graveside. Ever.
I hope Koizumi had a good time. It sure sounds like he did. It would've been better if he'd sung "In the Ghetto," but then the president would have had an awkward p.r. moment. Me, I'm still a little miffed that Velvet Elvises are for sale at neither Graceland nor the Elvis Presley Birthplace in Tupleo, Mississippi (Don't ask. Tupelo was too far.). But my attorney tells me you can take a photo and have a velvet anyone made in Nuevo Laredo. Or you can go to this website and get yourself turned into Velvet Elvis. So there's hope.