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    Foreign Minister Aso in Washington

    There’s no report of any substantive agreement, but Minister of Foreign Affairs Taro Aso met with Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld in Washington yesterday. Japan related its plan to extend the SDF deployment in Iraq and also emphasized that the restructuring of US military facilities here in Japan is running into opposition from the places affected (such as Okinawa). Rumsfeld would like to see China fulfill a constructive role in world society, including transparency about its military spending. Japan affirmed that it would like to expand its own international role and would prefer, really, to avoid being blown up by the DPRK. So everything is as per usual; if there are interesting developments, I assume we’ll hear about them.

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