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Obama congratulates Abe after Japan's elections

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December 17, 2012 08:34 PM EST | AP


WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama has congratulated Shinzo Abe (shin-zoh ah-bay), the head of Japan's Liberal Democratic Party, following his party's win in Sunday's parliamentary elections.

Abe is expected to be installed as Japan's newest prime minister later this month. The White House says both sides talked about the importance of the U.S.-Japanese alliance as a source of peace and security in the Asia-Pacific region.

The two leaders also discussed efforts to enhance security and economic ties between their countries and U.S.-Japanese cooperation on regional and global issues.

Abe served as prime minister for a year in 2006-2007.