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Opposition leader sees no reason for U.S. troops

Date Posted: 2009-03-06

The leader of Japan’s opposition political party, and a man who may soon become the country’s prime minister, says he doesn’t think there is a need for American troops in his country.

Ichiro Ozawa, leader of the Democratic Party and the man who could become the nation’s leader if the ruling Liberal Democratic party continues to flounder and Prime Minister Taro Aso calls new elections, says only the U.S. 7th Fleet is needed to help Japan. The rest of the 47,000 American troops in the country, he told reporters, could simply good home. Aso’s popularity is lagging at 14% and many observers are predicting new elections could be called soon.

Opposition leader Ozawa is expected to be the winner, in that case. The Democratic Party website quotes Ozawa as saying “the American role should become smaller.” Takeo Kawamura, Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary, fired back that the current government thinks having only the 7th Fleeet to protect Japan “is unrealistic.”

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