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Monday, 24 May 2010

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Japan PM visits Okinawa

Over US base row:

JAPAN: Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama visited Okinawa Sunday after reports said Tokyo and Washington had reached an agreement over the relocation of a US military base which has strained bilateral ties.

Hatoyama is expected to meet Okinawa Governor to explain the reported agreement made Saturday on relocating the US Marine Corps' Futenma Air Station on the southern island. The base in unpopular with locals on the island, which hosts the majority of the US troops and military bases in Japan.

Japanese and US negotiators agreed that the base would be relocated on Okinawa rather than moved elsewhere, as agreed by previous conservative governments in Tokyo and Washington, reports said Sunday. Hatoyama met with his ministers and confirmed the agreement before his visit to Okinawa, they said.

Tokyo and Washington will announce the broad agreement by the end of May in a joint statement by foreign and defence chiefs of the two countries, major national dailies and other Japanese media reported, without disclosing their sources.

Tokyo, Sunday, AFP

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