The United States hopes the successor to Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi can continue his legacy both on the diplomatic and domestic fronts, after his departure in September.

But there is one exception, as U.S officials and experts agree that it would be better for Koizumi’s successor to act to improve relations with China and South Korea, which have been strained mainly due to Koizumi’s contentious visits to Tokyo’s war-related Yasukuni Shrine.

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