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International relations

Japan-US security treaty: How a 'friendship' became an 'alliance'

Relations could hardly be more different as the security agreement turns 60

What's in a word? Quite a bit in Japan, where references to "alliance," with its military connotation, were studiously avoided in Japan for decades.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- Prime Minister Shinzo Abe vividly remembers the day when the politically charged phrase nichibei domei, or Japan-U.S. alliance, established itself in the official government lexicon.

In spring 2001, Abe, who was serving as deputy chief cabinet secretary for the newly inaugurated Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, was involved in drafting Koizumi's first policy speech to the Diet.

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