Japan's next leader, Yukio Hatoyama, told US President Barack Obama in a telephone call that close relations with the United States would remain a fundamental part of Japanese policy.
"I told him that we think the US-Japan alliance is the foundation (of Japanese diplomacy) and that I would like to build US-Japan relations with eyes on the future," Hatoyama told reporters after speaking with Obama by telephone early on Thursday.
"I told him that we will make efforts to improve each other's economy through cooperating closely," Hatoyama added.
In the call that Obama made to Hatoyama, specific issues, such as the future of US military bases in Japan, were not discussed, he said.
Hatoyama, whose decade-old Democrat Party of Japan (DPJ) beat the long-ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) by a landslide in Sunday's general election, will be voted in as premier on Sept 16 and should form his cabinet soon after.
Hatoyama's party said during the election campaign that it wanted to chart a course more independent of Washington.
Hatoyama will head to the United States soon after forming his cabinet to make his diplomatic debut at a United Nations General Assembly meeting and a G20 summit in Pittsburgh.