• Compiled From Kyodo, Staff Report


In a Friday meeting with visiting U.S. Sen. John McCain, Democratic Party of Japan leader Ichiro Ozawa expressed opposition to President Barack Obama’s decision to send more troops to Afghanistan to fight terrorism, DPJ Secretary General Yukio Hatoyama said.

“Though military force can topple a government, it cannot govern people. I cannot agree with it,” the leader of the main opposition party was quoted as telling McCain, Obama’s opponent in the presidential election last year.

As part of a strategy to fight terrorism laid out by Obama in March, the U.S. will send 4,000 additional troops to Afghanistan along with hundreds of civilian specialists, including diplomats.

At a press conference later, a delegation of U.S. senators led by McCain urged the U.N. Security Council to adopt a resolution condemning North Korea over its rocket launch Sunday.

McCain expressed concern that the North Koreans, as well as the Iranians, have “either acquired or are on the path of acquiring nuclear weapons,” adding that Pyongyang’s launch is a clear violation of Security Council resolutions that ban the communist state from any ballistic missile activities.

The 2008 Republican presidential candidate is in Tokyo with Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina on a weeklong Asian tour.

In addition to discussing security issues with Prime Minister Taro Aso and Foreign Minister Hirofumi Nakasone, McCain said they also exchanged opinions on Japan’s economic stimulus package and the planned future transfer of 8,000 U.S. Marines and their dependents from Okinawa to Guam.

McCain told reporters during a news conference held in the U.S. Embassy that he continues to view the U.S.-Japan relationship as of “paramount importance,” McCain told reporters at the U.S. Embassy.

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