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Japan, S. Korea want to cooperate on Afghan reconstruction.

TOKYO, Jan. 23 Kyodo

Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) chief Yukio Hatoyama on Wednesday agreed with visiting South Korean Foreign Affairs and Trade Minister Han Seung Soo that the two countries should work together to help rebuild Afghanistan.

They also said their countries should conclude a free trade accord, with Hatoyama saying trade liberalization in Asia is desirable, according to DPJ officials.

Han responded that he expects the accord to be a starting point for establishing an Asian consortium, the officials said.

While Han noted that relations between the two nations have been rocky since last April, the South Korean minister said they have improved since Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's October visit to South Korea.

Han thanked the DPJ for its efforts to calm tensions over a series of recent disputes concerning the two countries, including Koizumi's August visit to Tokyo's Yasukuni Shrine which honors Japanese war criminals along with war dead, they said.
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Publication:Asian Political News
Date:Jan 28, 2002
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