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New Japanese Government reassures Washington

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New Japanese Prime Minister, Naoto Kan, has formed a government of cronies. He systematically brushed aside any allies of the former Democratic Party Secretary-General, Ichiro Ozawa. Often dubbed the "shadow shogun", Ichiro Ozawa had resigned at the same time as his protégé, outgoing Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama.

In his policy speech at the Diet of Japan, Naoto Kan put a lid on the controversy over U.S. tutelage. Then, he propelled Goshi Hosono to the apex of the party and sent him to Washington to quiet things down.

At a conference on U.S.-Japan relations sponsored by the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), the young Japanese parliamentarian reassured his audience. The two biggest world economies will remain united, even if Tokyo wants to play an increased political role in the Asia-Pacific region.

To help the new team, the Obama Administration could consider making a gesture with regard to the Futenma Marine base in Okinawa; a gesture that was denied to Hatoyama to provoke his downfall.

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