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Japan's Democrats aim to finalise coalition
Updated: 2009-09-09 10:19

TOKYO: Japan's new ruling Democratic Party was set for another round of coalition talks on Wednesday with two tiny parties whose cooperation is needed to control parliament's less powerful upper chamber and help enact laws.

Despite a landslide victory in the Aug. 30 poll for parliament's powerful lower house, Yukio Hatoyama's Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) needs backing from the tiny Social Democrats and the conservative People's New Party to ensure legislation can be enacted smoothly, since the upper house can delay bills.

The parties on Tuesday failed to agree on how to word a call for changes to a planned redeployment of US Marines on Japan's southern island of Okinawa, Social Democratic Party executive Yasumasa Shigeno told reporters late on Tuesday.

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The Democrats have vowed to re-think the redeployment plan but may want to play down the issue ahead of Hatoyama's first meeting with US President Barack Obama later this month. Okinawa is a top priority for the pacifist Social Democrats.

The Democrats' pledge to forge a more independent stance from key security ally Washington has raised concern about possible friction, although Hatoyama has said the alliance remains at the core of Japan's diplomacy.

Hatoyama is set to be voted in as prime minister by parliament on Sept. 16, ending more than half a century of almost unbroken rule by the Liberal Democratic Party and ushering in a government pledged to putting more money in the hands of consumers, cutting waste and reducing bureaucrats' control over policy-making.