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The competition is closer than expected - Japanese PM as he watches US election

Published:Tuesday | November 8, 2016 | 11:54 PM
A woman walks by banners of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump during an election watch event hosted by the US Embassy in Seoul, South Korea.

MEXICO CITY (AP):

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has told an aide that "the competition is closer than expected" in the US election.

Aide Tateo Kawamura tells Japan's Kyodo News service that Abe is following the vote count in his office.

The Japanese government has remained neutral in public statements, but analysts on both sides of the Pacific have talked about a possible change in US policy toward Japan and the rest of Asia if Republican candidate Donald Trump should win.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga is reaffirming his government's commitment to the US-Japan security alliance. He tells reporters that whoever is the next president, the Japan-US alliance will remain the cornerstone of Japan-US diplomacy.