Entries in APEC Summit (1)


World Leaders' Small Talk: iPads, Travel Plans & Virtual Ponds

President Obama looks at a digital fish pond as he arrives at the APEC leaders retreat in Yokohama. Photo Courtesy - TIM SLOAN/AFP/Getty Images(YOKOHAMA, Japan) -- So what do world leaders chat about in those rare unscheduled minutes when they are gathered together before the start of a global summit session? At the APEC summit in Yokohama, Japan, the answer is iPads, travel plans and virtual Koi ponds.

A pool reporter was in earshot of President Obama as he chatted with Thai prime minister Abhisit  Vejjajiva and other world leaders at the start of an APEC session on Saturday.  The meeting took place in a constructed bamboo forest featuring stone paths and a virtual “Koi pond” – a high-tech pond with HD panels showing virtual fish swimming around.

“A bamboo well appeared to tip water into the fake pond, startling the fake fish, which scattered in fake terror,” the pool report said.

It was reportedly President Obama who initiated the tech conversation – he turned to the Thai prime minister and asked him if he liked his iPad. The Thai leader nodded and inquired as to whether Obama had one.

Earlier Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard leaned over the video pool and at the encouragement of her Japanese host, Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan, she loudly clapped her hands to get a reaction out of the fish. It was unclear if the fake fish obliged.

A day before their bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the APEC summit, Obama greeted Russian President Dmitry Medvedev with a hug and small talk.

Vietnamese President Nguyen Minh Triet told Mr. Obama he hoped he would visit his country.

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