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The nascent coalition government led by Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama has experienced crucial challenges deriving from differing security policy views among the three parties. In the coming year, the Japan-U.S. deadlock over the transfer of a key U.S. military airfield is expected to keep causing turbulence.

The presence of the Social Democratic Party, which opposes any revisions to the war-renouncing Constitution, will make it tough for the Hatoyama government to set a clear path toward solving the base relocation issue, deepening the Japan-U.S. military alliance, revising the national defense guidelines and countering piracy off Somalia.

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