Hillary Clinton to have unusual meeting with Japan's main opposition leader

Other News Materials 14 February 2009 14:27 (UTC +04:00)

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will add a meeting with Ichiro Ozawa, leader of the main opposition Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), to her itinerary of the maiden trip overseas next week, Xinhua reported.

The meeting is expected to be held on Tuesday evening at a Tokyo hotel, DPJ Diet affairs chief Kenji Yamaoka told media Saturday, adding that it is the United States who initiated the meeting.

The unusual talks between a U.S. Secretary of State and an opposition leader reflect a looming possibility that the DPJ-led opposition camp may oust the ruling coalition of the Liberal Democratic Party and the New Komeito party from power following a general election this year, said Kyodo News.

Ozawa has shown willingness to review the alignment of U.S. forces in Japan, which includes the relocation of some U.S. Marines from Okinawa to Guam, if his party wins power.

Clinton will visit Japan from Monday to Wednesday. She is also scheduled to meet with family members of Japanese abductees by North Korea as well as Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso, Foreign Minister Hirofumi Nakasone and Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada.