TOKYO - Washington has eased off the pressure on Japan to come up with a solution to the long-running issue of the closure of the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma Air Base and the transfer of 8 000 marines to Guam with Defense Secretary Robert Gates telling his Japanese counterparts that the most important task facing the alliance is working together to ensure that itendures in the face of renewed provocation from China anduncertainty over what the regime in North Korea might do next . . .
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