Gary Susman
August 28, 2003 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Tom Cruise wields a sword alongside 19th-century Japanese warriors in his upcoming drama ”The Last Samurai,” but that’s not what impressed Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi. Rather, it was Cruise’s knowledge of Elvis. The Hollywood star met the Japanese leader at his official residence in Tokyo after inviting him to a premiere screening of ”Samurai,” Reuters reports. ”He’s really an extraordinary man — and a pretty good singer. We sang Elvis together,” Cruise told reporters after his get-together with Koizumi on Thursday. ”I think he’s a charismatic and very intelligent man.”

Cruise didn’t identify the Presley song they sang, but Koizumi later said it was ”I Want You, I Need You, I Love You,” the first song he’d ever learned in English. He did not assess Cruise’s heretofore unknown singing ability. ”Samurai,” which was shot in part on location in Japan, opens in December in both Japan and the U.S. We’re guessing that Cruise’s character, a Civil War veteran, doesn’t sing any Elvis tunes in the movie.

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