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Japan's next PM meets Asian ambassadors

Japan's incoming prime minister today met the ambassadors of China and South Korea as his party looks to promote regional ties and its long-term aim of an Asian community.

world Updated: Sep 04, 2009 15:51 IST

Japan's incoming prime minister today met the ambassadors of China and South Korea as his party looks to promote regional ties and its long-term aim of an Asian community.

Yukio Hatoyama -- leader of the centre-left Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), which ousted the conservative government in a sweeping election victory -- also vowed a more muscular foreign policy.

"It's been said that Japanese diplomacy is quite weak in multilateral talks," he told a conference before meeting the Asian envoys.

"We should not have that reputation during the DPJ's diplomacy. We want to contribute to Japan's national interest and to world prosperity through cooperation between politicians, bureaucrats and the private sector."

Beijing's ambassador to Tokyo, Cui Tiankai, and South Korea's envoy, Kwon Chul-Hyun, later both visited Hatoyama, who is set to take over as prime minister on September 16, at his party headquarters.

The two envoys were the first Asian ambassadors to meet Hatoyama, 62, since his party's landslide victory over the long-ruling conservative Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) of outgoing Prime Minister Taro Aso.

"We have expectations to advance the bilateral relations even further," Cui said after the meeting.