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Bootnotes

Japan's first lady visits Venus

Green planet 'a very beautiful place' says PM's extraterrestrial missus

The wife of Japan's next prime minister claims to have clocked up a diplomatic first by visiting Venus, Reuters reports.

Miyuki Hatoyama, who's hitched to soon-to-be PM Yukio Hatoyama, wrote last year in a book not unreasonably entitled Very Strange Things I've Encountered: "While my body was asleep, I think my soul rode on a triangular-shaped UFO and went to Venus. It was a very beautiful place and it was really green."

This extraordinary jaunt took place 20 years ago, presumably when Venus was a verdant paradise occupied by soul-transporting extraterrestrials boasting hyperdrive technology, and before the planet became the hellish, sun-scorched wasteland it is now.

It was also when Hatoyama was with hubby number one, who dismissed her interplanetary adventure as "probably a dream". Her new squeeze is apparently more sympathetic, as Hatoyama explained: "My current husband has a different way of thinking. He would surely say 'Oh, that's great'."

This comes as no surprise: Yukio Hatoyama was once dubbed "The Alien" for his "prominent eyes", as Reuters chillingly puts it. ®

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