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Ministerial Meeting
August 2, 2007

Movers and shakers take to the stage
Australia's foreign minister crooned "What the World Needs Now is Love", his Japanese counterpart took to the stage dressed as a samurai warrior and the Chinese delegation danced, Reuters reported from Manila, Philippines.

But the Americans took the easy route, getting professional Filipino singers to represent them in an annual closed-door cabaret held on Wednesday night on the eve of Asia-Pacific's biggest security meeting in Manila, participants said.

The Japanese toned it down from last year's performance about a pandemic of giant furry frogs, sending their delegates out instead in jogging pants for a skit about "Taro's Boot Camp", named for foreign minister Taro Aso.

Aso rounded off their show, which also featured a sumo wrestling loincloth, appearing in warrior garb and face paint.

The Russians also did a skit, parodying the plethora of meetings held at the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) annual security meeting. Their foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, sang in English.

New Zealand's foreign policy experts upped the tribal beat with a Maori dance, but neighbouring Australia played to the crowd with foreign minister Alexander Downer substituting the lyrics of the love song to say, "What the World Needs Now is ASEAN and Free Trade."

The Chinese delegation came on as a dance troupe in traditional costume.

US Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte introduced the Filipino singers but he wasn't going to try and emulate his boss, Condoleezza Rice, who wowed last year's show in Kuala Lumpur with a piano recital.

Rice opted out of this year's meeting to go to the Middle East.

The meeting brings together the 10-member Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) with 17 other partners including China, Japan, India, the European Union, the United States, Russia, Australia and New Zealand. Reuters

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