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Japan's neighbors welcome new leadership

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Since the Democratic Party of Japan made history by defeating the long-running Liberal Democratic Party, DPJ leader and Japan’s next prime minister Yukio Hatoyama has been busy talking on the phone – with his Asian neighbors.

To them, that’s a welcome sign from the party that promised to take Japan’s government in new directions, reports China’s state-run Xinhua news agency:

The landslide election win by Japan's opposition Democratic Party over the ruling conservatives raises hopes in Asia that the often tense relationships with Tokyo's leaders will give way to improved regional ties….
[South Korean President Lee Myung-bak] told Hatoyama by telephone that he believed [South Korea] and Japan "can open a new era," while Hatoyama replied the two countries should cooperate "more closely," Lee's office said in a statement…
Many of Japan's problems with its neighbors have been festering since the end of World War II, including fights over compensating war victims, territorial rows and what many see as not showing proper contrition for its aggression in China, Korea and other parts of Asia.

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