Japan agrees changes on US soldiers deal, coalition deal OK

Japan's new ruling Democratic Party clinched a deal on Wednesday to form a coalition with two tiny parties whose help it needs to pass laws smoothly.

Japan agrees changes on US soldiers deal, coalition deal OK

Japan's new ruling Democratic Party clinched a deal on Wednesday to form a coalition with two tiny parties whose help it needs to pass laws smoothly.

Despite a landslide victory in the Aug. 30 poll for parliament's lower house, Yukio Hatoyama's Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) needs backing from the pacifist Social Democrats and the conservative People's New Party in the upper house to ensure legislation can be enacted freely, since the upper chamber can delay bills.

"It is wonderful to have reached a coalition agreement that will help lead people's lives in the right direction," Hatoyama said in a joint news conference with his counterparts from the two parties.

"We can now stand at the starting line of a new government. We will do our best to carry out the people's mandate."

"Redeployment of US soldiers"

The parties compromised on the wording of a call for changes to a planned redeployment of U.S. Marines on Japan's southern island of Okinawa.

In a joint statement, they said they would raise the issue of revising an agreement governing U.S. military forces in Japan and seek changes to a deal under which some 8,000 Marines are to be moved to Guam and a Marine base relocated within Okinawa.

Media said the Social Democrats had sought stronger wording.

The new ruling Democrats have already vowed to re-think the U.S. troop redeployment plan but may want to play down the issue ahead of Hatoyama's first meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama later this month. U.S. officials have said they will not renegotiate the deal.

The new ruling party's pledged to forge a more independent stance from Washington.

Hatoyama is set to be voted in as prime minister by parliament on Sept. 16, ending more than half a century of almost unbroken rule by the Liberal Democratic Party.


Reuters

Last Mod: 09 Eylül 2009, 15:32
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