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True enough, the split between the LDP and Komeito deepened in the metropolitan assembly.

SAN DIEGO, California—US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter on Thursday said America’s alliance with the Philippines remained “ironclad” even though the Asian ally’s leader had vowed to end joint military exercises.

Such a move could further dampen relations with Manila’s longtime ally after the firebrand leader — who has also called for US special operations forces in the country’s south to leave — branded US President Barack Obama a “son of a whore” and extended overtures to China.

But senior defense officials later appeared philosophical about Duterte’s outbursts.

The vice president is considered by Australian officials to be a “calm and measured” presence in President Donald Trump’s administration. have (a) very close business relationship,” Moshirian said.

Another senior member who voted against the bill cited the strong opposition to the bill within Soka Gakkai, the nation's largest lay Buddhist organization and a solid supporter of the party, and the negative impact that the vote on the casino bill could have on the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly election this summer.

And as if he still isn't satisfied, Abe has begun to take steps to solidify the political foundation of his administration, causing new friction among political circles. 22, Lower House Speaker Tadamori Oshima, who hails from Abe's Liberal Democratic Party, complained about the high-handed manner with which the LDP rammed through the controversial bill to legalize casino resorts.

Speaking to his close aides, Abe himself did not hide his displeasure with the way Oshima ran the proceedings during the extraordinary Diet session, notably his decision to delay the vote for ratifying the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade pact.

The Pentagon chief’s remarks came as he headed for a security summit in Hawaii, where concerns about President Duterte, China’s continued military expansion in the South China Sea, and the return of Islamic State (IS) group jihadists to the region were high on the agenda.

READ: US-PH military alliance ‘ironclad,’ says Pentagon chief “As it has been for decades, our alliance with the Philippines is ironclad,” Carter said, addressing troops aboard the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier, docked in San Diego, California. Duterte on Wednesday said he would soon end joint military exercises with the United States, a symbolic blow to a military alliance dating back more than 60 years.

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