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Offering a positive assessment of Japan’s diplomatic achievements in 2008, Foreign Minister Hirofumi Nakasone on Friday praised Prime Minister Taro Aso for working tirelessly to raise Tokyo’s reputation within the international community.

“It was a hectic three months” since Aso became prime minister on Sept. 24, Nakasone told reporters during the year’s final news conference. “But Japan played its role and demonstrated its leadership to the world, especially on tackling the global financial crisis.”

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