• Kyodo

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New York

In an interview with Time, U.S. President Barack Obama mentioned several world leaders with whom he has forged good relations, among them German Chancellor Angela Merkel and South Korean President Lee Myung Bak, but Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda was not on the list, the magazine’s online edition said Thursday.

Obama did mention Japan in the interview when referring to U.S. diplomacy in Asia, saying, “We’ve strengthened our alliances with Japan and South Korea — I think they’re in as good a shape as they’ve ever been.” But the fact that Noda’s name was not mentioned was undoubtedly a disappointment, a Japanese government source admitted.

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