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U.S. to keep working with Japan after elections

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Senior U.S. government officials said Monday that Washington looks forward to continuing to work closely with Japan following the landslide victory of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's ruling bloc in Sunday's upper house election.

"We look forward to continuing to work with the government of Japan, a friend and ally of the United States," State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters.

"The alliance between our two countries has broad support across the political spectrum in both Japan and the United States," she said.

Daniel Russel, assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs, voiced hope that the victory in the House of Councillors election will help Abe accelerate work to implement a set of measures aimed at revitalizing the Japanese economy and creating more jobs.

"If this (the result of the election) is a step that will help facilitate greater continuity of leadership in Japan, I think it will be welcomed by all of Japan's friends," Russel told a press conference.

"That's an undertaking that has the full support of the United States," he added.

Russel also said Japan faces "a range of thorny problems" with some of its neighbors, referring to territorial disputes with China and South Korea over islets in the East China Sea and the Sea of Japan that have soured its bilateral ties with Beijing and Seoul.

"It's hugely important that the relations between Japan and its neighbors improve, that problems be dealt with...in a peaceful and a thoughtful way," said Russel, a former senior director for Asian affairs on the National Security Council.

Russel said the United States hopes that all leaders concerned and the public "will be guided by a sense of wisdom, of shared interest and will take actions and decisions with a view to the future."

Through the upper house election, the Japanese ruling bloc led by Abe's Liberal Democratic Party regained a majority in the chamber for the first time in six years. The LDP-led camp already has a comfortable majority in the House of Representatives, the more powerful lower house.

==Kyodo

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/kyodo-news-international/130722/us-keep-working-japan-after-elections