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Japan: Recasting politics, and opening up strategic 'space'

By Rod Lyon

The Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), elected to the government benches in a landslide at the end of August 2009, is celebrating its first 100 days in office, and observers are starting to get a clearer picture of the new forces in Japanese politics.

This paper looks at Japanese domestic politics and the implications for Australia, focusing on the two major stategic issues: the US-Japan alliance, and Australia's bilateral strategic relationship with Japan.