U.S. respects Japanese PM's decision to step down: White House

08:23, June 03, 2010      

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The White House said on Wednesday that the U.S. respects the decision of Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama to step down.

"We respect the Japanese political process and Prime Minister Hatoyama's decision to step down. The selection of Japan's next Prime Minister is a matter for the Japanese people and political process," said a White House statement.

"The U.S.-Japan bilateral relationship is very strong and deeply rooted in our common interests and values," said the statement.

In the statement, the White House vowed to continue to work closely with the Japanese government and its next prime minister on a whole range of issues.

Earlier, White House spokesman Bill Burton said that U.S.-Japan relations will not change in the wake of Hatoyama's resignation.

Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama, whose popularity has been marred by his bungled handling of a plan to relocate a U.S. marine base in Okinawa, resigned on Wednesday after just eight months in office.



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