U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will meet Ichiro Ozawa, leader of the Democratic Party of Japan, on Tuesday evening at a Tokyo hotel, DPJ Diet affairs chief Kenji Yamaoka said Saturday.
The United States government requested the meeting, according to Yamaoka. The unusual talks reflect the looming possibility that the DPJ-led opposition camp may oust the Liberal Democratic Party-New Komeito ruling coalition from power in the general election slated later this year.
The election must be held by September.
Clinton is expected to tell Ozawa that U.S. President Barack Obama sees Japanese-U.S. relations as a key element in U.S. foreign policy and to ask him what the DPJ’s foreign policy platform is, including any plans to develop the bilateral alliance.
Ozawa has said he is willing to review the plan for realigning U.S. forces in Japan, including the relocation of some U.S. Marines from Okinawa to Guam, if his party takes power.
Clinton is also scheduled to meet family members of Japanese abducted by North Korea, as well as senior politicians and government officials, including Prime Minister Taro Aso, Foreign Minister Hirofumi Nakasone and Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada.
She also will participate in a speaking event with university students during her stay, which will last from Monday until Wednesday.
Clinton will be making her overseas debut as the top U.S. diplomat.