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Thursday, 4th September 2008
In General Japan News,

Japan's Obama backs namesake in US presidential race

While voters in the US continue to weigh up the pros and cons of the two Presidential candidates, the Japanese town of Obama has already made up its mind.

During the primary race, residents of the fishing port cheered on the Democratic senator from Illinois Barack Obama, chanting his name and wearing colourful T-shirts bearing slogans such as "I Love Obama".

Kimono dealer Ikuyo Yamashita told Reuters: "We should take this opportunity to make our town grow and prosper."

In a letter to the town, Mr Obama said: "I'm touched by your friendly gesture We share more than a common name; we share a common planet and common responsibility."

The town of Obama is already the home of a popular TV drama in Japan.

Dr Franz Czarny claims the name Obama derives from the ethnic Luo group in Kenya and many places in West Africa and Japan shares similar names.

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