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Only two months in office, Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama appears to be losing his political influence primarily because of (1) his failure to exercise leadership in foreign diplomacy and on the domestic agenda, and (2) the extraordinary concentration of power vested in Ichiro Ozawa, whom Hatoyama has chosen to manage his ruling Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) as secretary general.

On Oct. 26, Hatoyama delivered his first policy speech before both houses of the Diet, playing up his oft-repeated slogans of cleaning up the political mess piled up during the postwar years, serving as a bridge between nations and working toward a restoration of the nation.

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