The choice to host this year's Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Japan has reportedly resulted in the loss of a tradition simultaneously adored and maligned by Pacific Rim leaders: the annual "silly shirts" photo.
For years, APEC leaders have posed together for a group photo, usually in clothing representing the host country's culture. With participants donning silk shirts in Thailand (2003) and ponchos in Chile (2004), the results were often cringe-worthy or chuckle-inducing.
However, the Associated Press is reporting that the 2010 participants have been instructed to wear smart casual for the event, held in Yokohama, Japan. A Japanese official who spoke on condition of anonymity said the traditional form-fitting kimono was neither comfortable nor well-suited for such a session, but noted the decision to schedule the photo between a Kabuki theater performance and a formal dinner hosted by Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan may have been the primary reason.
Watch for next year's APEC meeting, to be held in Hawaii, to revive the tradition, however. According to the AP, President Obama has joked to "deck [leaders] out in flowered shirts and grass skirts."
See photos of APEC "silly shirts" photos from previous years, and vote for your favorite below: