Japan's prime minister says he wants to press for more equal ties with the U.S. during the 50th year of the security treaty between the two nations.

Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama said Monday in a New Year's speech showed live on national television that he wants the alliance between the two countries to become more open.

He said it is important "for both sides to be able to firmly say what needs to be said, and increase the relationship of trust."

The Japan-US Security Treaty was signed in 1960, and tens of thousands of U.S. troops are still in Japan.

Hatoyama's relationship with Washington has come under scrutiny recently, over the relocation of an American military base on the southern island of Okinawa.