Japan's Hatoyama Asserts Independence away from US Policy

The Washington Post - While most of the federal government was shut down by a snowstorm last week, there was one person in particular whom Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton called in through the cold: Japanese Ambassador Ichiro Fujisaki.

Once he arrived, Clinton told him in blunt, if diplomatic, terms that the United States remains adamant about moving a Marine base from one part of Okinawa to another. That she felt compelled to call the unusual meeting highlights what some U.S. and Asian officials say is an alarming turn in relations with Japan since Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama led an opposition party to victory in August elections, ending an almost uninterrupted five decades of rule by the Liberal Democratic Party.

Since the election, a series of canceled dinners, diplomatic demarches, and publicly and privately broken promises from the new government has vexed senior White House officials, causing new concern about the U.S. friendship with its closest Asian ally. Read more.


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