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PacNet #71A – Risky Business: U.S. Pressure Over Okinawa Base Could Poison the Alliance

When the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), led by Hatoyama Yukio, scored a landslide victory over the long-ruling Liberal Democrat Party (LDP), many U.S. observers saw potential for a very productive synergy with the Obama administration. The two governments, both ushered into power on the strength of agendas for change, aspire to many of the same goals on urgent global issues – drastic reduction of CO2 emissions, nuclear nonproliferation, the eventual abolition of nuclear weapons, and stability in Afghanistan and Pakistan, to name a few. The prospect of Japanese and U.S. leaders working creatively together to solve some of the most intractable global problems was exciting.