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The proposal, widely touted after Hatoyama took office in September, was generally welcomed when he showed up for the annual summit of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum over the weekend in Singapore. But some experts say the seemingly favorable reaction may only be a result of the idea’s ambiguity.

Recent heated debates in APEC have mainly focused on which countries should be included in a future multilateral framework in Asia, pushing the attempt to seek what Hatoyama calls “fraternity” in the region to the verge of becoming no more than a competition for influence between the big economies.

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