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Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama and U.S. President Barack Obama held a summit and a joint news conference Friday in Tokyo, their second meeting following their first in September on the fringes of the United Nations General Assembly meetings. They reaffirmed that the Japan-U.S. alliance is the basis for stability and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region and agreed to “deepen” the alliance.

Both Mr. Hatoyama and Mr. Obama avoided delving very far into the contentious issue of the relocation of the U.S. Marine Corps’ Futenma air facility based on Okinawa. Instead they focused on bilateral cooperation on global issues such as nuclear disarmament and climate change. The Futenma issue is the biggest problem at the moment facing Japan and the United States, and cannot be left unattended. Both Japan and the U.S. apparently tried to prevent differences between the two nations over this difficult issue from wrecking their summit.

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