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Prime Minister Taro Aso’s political situation may be tenuous when he meets Tuesday in Washington with President Barack Obama, but so far the new administration’s rhetoric and policies toward Japan appear mainly to be firmly rooted in that of his predecessor, George W. Bush.

What this means for mid- to long-term bilateral relations is unclear and likely to remain so until after Japan holds a Lower House election that must take place by September, when lawmakers’ terms expire.

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