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One of the world's leading
democracies - Japan -- took an historic step with parliamentary elections that
brought a major change of government. The Democratic Party of Japan clearly won
a substantial majority of seats in the Japanese parliament's lower house. The
leader of the Democratic Party of Japan, Yukio Hatoyama, is expected to be
formally elected Prime Minister by the new parliament in mid-September. This
will mean a transfer of power from Japan's Liberal Democratic Party, which has
led the country for most the past 54 years.
"As a close friend and ally, the United States awaits the formation of a
new Japanese government," White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said in
a prepared statement. "We are confident that the strong U.S.-Japan
Alliance and the close partnership between our two countries will continue to
flourish under the leadership of the next government in Tokyo. President Obama
looks forward to working close with the new Japanese Prime Minister on a broad
range of global, regional and bilateral issues."
U.S. State Department spokesman Ian Kelly said that "the U.S.-Japan
partnership is key to pursuing peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region
and in promoting shared values around the world. We will work closely with the
new Japanese government in moving toward denuclearization of the Korean
Peninsula, addressing the threat of climate change and increasing the
availability of renewable energy, bringing stability to Afghanistan and
Pakistan, and addressing international humanitarian and health issues."
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton noted that the United States
considers its alliance with Japan a cornerstone of peace and security in East
Asia. "The challenges we face are many," said U.S. Ambassador to
Japan John V. Roos, "but through our partnership our two great democracies
will meet them in a spirit of cooperation and friendship."