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Japan, Macao hope China will assure 2-system policy.

TOKYO, July 23 Kyodo

Japanese Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi and Macao Gov. Vasco Rocha Vieira shared hope Friday that the Portuguese colony will maintain its open system under China's "one-nation two-system policy" when it returns to Beijing's rule in December.

"We hope the one-nation, two system policy will function smoothly and that Macao will maintain its free and open system," a Japanese Foreign Ministry official quoted Obuchi as telling Vieira in a meeting at the premier's official residence.

Vieira told Obuchi that Macao wants to continue its system, and that the colony is attaching importance to its ties with countries such as Japan and Brazil because it is counting on them to support the colony's position, the official said.

Vieira also asked for Obuchi's support in establishing regular flights between the colony and Japan. But Obuchi expressed reluctance to the idea, saying Japan wants to maintain for the time being chartered flights instead, the official said.

The last governor of Macao, which will be handed back to China at midnight Dec. 19 after 442 years of Portuguese rule, arrived Thursday in Japan for an 11-day visit.

Vieira met with Japanese Foreign Minister Masahiko Komura on Thursday, and invited Komura to attend a reversion ceremony in December. Komura promised to consider the offer.

China adopted the "one-nation, two-system policy" when Britain returned Hong Kong in 1997.

The governor is scheduled to attend the annual Teppo Matsuri Festival on the island of Tanegashima, Kagoshima Prefecture, which opens Sunday. The festival remembers the Portuguese arrival and introduction of firearms to Japan in 1543.

During his trip, the Macao leader will also visit Nagasaki, Oita, Osaka, Kobe and Hiroshima.
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Publication:Asian Political News
Date:Jul 26, 1999
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