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US report warns of Japan 'drift,' urges defence boost

Published on Aug 16, 2012 6:08 AM

WASHINGTON (AFP) - A group of former United States policymakers called on Wednesday for Japan to expand the scope of defence cooperation with Washington, saying that the two nations' alliance needed momentum to overcome strains.

The study group, set up under the Centre of Strategic and International Studies think tank, does not represent US policy but similar reports have in the past been used as a basis for government planning.

The report warned of "a time of drift" between the United States and Japan, saying that the six-decade alliance between the new countries is being reshaped by developments including the rapid rise of China.

"As leaders in both the United States and Japan face a myriad of other challenges, the health and welfare of one of the world's most important alliances is endangered," it said.

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