• Kyodo

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U.S. President George W. Bush said Tuesday that he hopes to emulate in Iraq the successful postwar occupation and reconstruction of Japan by the Allied Forces, in spite of a fresh wave of violence in Baghdad.

“We’ve got very close alliances (with Japan) now as a result of not only winning a war, but doing the right things in the postwar period,” Bush told a news conference in the White House Rose Garden.

He said he believes the postwar Allied Occupation of Japan has led to today’s close ties between Tokyo and Washington.

He nominated his relationship with Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi as one example.

“My relations with Prime Minister (Junichiro) Koizumi are very close and personal,” the president said.

“You know, I was struck by the fact, when I was in Japan recently, that I was thinking about what happened if, in the post-World War II era, we hadn’t won the peace as well as the war.

“Would I have had the same relationship with Mr. Koizumi? Would I be able to work closely on crucial relations? I doubt it,” Bush added.

Bush visited Japan on Oct. 17-18 for talks with Koizumi as part of a tour of the Asia-Pacific region that also took him to Thailand for an APEC leaders’ summit, the Philippines, Indonesia and Australia.

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