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Japan’s ties with the United States are expected to be put to the test in 2010 as Tokyo struggles to settle a row over the Futenma military airfield in Okinawa, possibly as a step toward reshaping the decades-old bilateral alliance.

In contrast, the Hatoyama administration’s pro-Asia stance, as seen in the prime minister’s East Asian community concept, could bring the region closer together, but experts say a quick breakthrough is unlikely in long-standing territorial and other disputes with China and South Korea.

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