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The leaders of the Democratic Party of Japan, Social Democratic Party and New People’s Party (Kokumin Shinto) agreed Wednesday to form a coalition government. It will ensure that the DPJ, which holds fewer than half of the Upper House seats, has smooth sailing in the Diet. However, the parties appear to have papered over some difficult issues and the new administration may have a tough time.

During negotiations, the SDP called for revamping the U.S.-Japan agreement to move the U.S. Marine Corps Futenma Air Station to another part of Okinawa and for revising the U.S.-Japan Status of Forces Agreement. The DPJ opposed such a goal because of the problems it would cause DPJ leader Yukio Hatoyama, who, as Japan’s next prime minister, will meet with U.S. President Barack Obama later this month.

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