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August 31, 09

NEWS / United States Congratulates Japan on Parliamentary Elections

By Merle David Kellerhals Jr.
Staff Writer

Washington — The United States congratulated the Japanese people on their recent election for a new parliament that ushered into power the Democratic Party of Japan and Prime Minister-designate Yukio Hatoyama.

“The people of Japan have participated in an historic election in one of the world’s leading democracies,” White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said in an August 30 prepared statement. “As a close friend and ally, the United States awaits the formation of a new Japanese government.”

“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 closely with the new Japanese prime minister on a broad range of global, regional and bilateral issues,” Gibbs said.

Hatoyama told reporters August 31 in Tokyo that he will begin assembling his Cabinet soon as final official results of the parliamentary elections are announced, but will not name the Cabinet until after he is formally elected prime minister by the parliament in a special election in about two weeks. The Democratic Party of Japan has taken the reins of government from the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, which had led the country for most of the past 54 years.

At the U.S. State Department, spokesman Ian Kelly said August 30 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.”

The U.S.-Japan alliance, created in the aftermath of World War II, is regarded by the United States as a cornerstone of peace and security in East Asia.

“The United States looks forward to early and close consultations with the new government on a wide range of global challenges and opportunities,” Kelly said.

Obama and Prime Minister-designate Hatoyama could hold their first meeting at the opening of the U.N. General Assembly September 23–30, or during the Group of 20 Summit that will be held September 24–25 in Pittsburgh.




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