The ASEAN meeting in Bali, Indonesia is being covered widely in Japan, as the Noda administration has expressed its extreme willingness to join the TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) pushed by the US administration. The TPP is a regional so-called "free-trade" agreement whose ultimate purpose seems to be the isolation of China in the region.
Watching the TV coverage of the ASEAN meeting, some Japanese are surprised to see what they perceive as "bad manners" by President Obama - chewing gum constantly, even in front of the cameras and during the face-to-face meeting with the Chinese premier. Crossing legs is not looked on very well either.
You can view President Obama chewing gum at ASEAN meeting at NHK News (11/19/2011). Click on the screen on the left side for the video.
It must be the nicotine gum, I assume. And no one in his entourage to caution the president.
At the same time, it may all be in perspective. Which one would the Japanese prefer,
A US president who puked on the laps of a Japanese prime minister in a state banquet (Papa Bush and PM Miyazawa); or
A US president who decided to drop nuclear bombs on Japan in short succession back in 1945; or
A US company selling nuclear reactors which spectacularly failed 40 years later; or
A US president who chews gum in an international conference?