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Leaving woes at home, Japan PM visits White House

WASHINGTON — When Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda meets Monday with President Barack Obama he'll be looking to reaffirm Japan's strong alliance with the U.S.

Noda also aims to boost his leadership credentials as his popularity flags at home.

Noda came to power in September. He is Japan's sixth prime minister in six years and faces huge challenges in reviving a long-slumbering economy and helping his nation recover from the worst nuclear crisis since Chernobyl.

His Oval Office meeting and working lunch with President Barack Obama could offer some brief relief from domestic woes. The two sides are determined to show that U.S.-Japan ties remain strong.