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Tuesday, 22nd June 2010
In General Japan News,

US, Japanese leaders discuss ties

US secretary of state Hilary Clinton and Katsuya Okada, Japan's foreign affairs minister, discussed their countries' continuing close ties in a telephone conversation this week.

The meeting was the first since the newly-formed Japanese cabinet took office in early June, which saw Mr Okada retain his post.

A statement made by the Japanese foreign ministry noted that the ministers will continue to "co-operate closely".

It also said: "Our Minister Okada said the Japan-US alliance is a cornerstone of Japan's diplomacy."

Among the diplomatic issues discussed in the conversation - which was held on Monday (June 21st) - were talks about Iran's nuclear programme at the UN Security Council, as well as the sinking of a South Korean warship, which has been blamed on North Korea.

The new Japanese cabinet was named on June 8th by premier Naoto Kan, who was previously the country's finance minister.

He has pledged to continue strong alliances with the United States and tackle Japan's public debt as part of his new government strategy.

Written by Kimberley Homer.

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