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Kyodo news summary -2-.

TOKYO, Oct. 31 Kyodo

---------- Japan, China, S. Korea tackle quake-resistant reinforcement

KOBE - Ministers in charge of disaster prevention from Japan, China and South Korea agreed Saturday to promote cooperation between the three Asian countries on improving the earthquake resistance of buildings and facilities.

Seiji Maehara, Japan's state minister in charge of disaster prevention, Luo Pingfei, China's vice minister of civil affairs, and Park Yeon Soo, administrator of South Korea's National Emergency Management Agency, also called for the sharing of information and technology related to flood prevention and protection amid concern over the impact of climate change.

---------- Afghan presidential challenger Abdullah to ignore runoff, aide says

KABUL - Afghan presidential challenger Abdullah Abdullah is going to ignore the Nov. 7 runoff against incumbent Hamid Karzai, one of his aides said Saturday.

''We will not pull out in favor of someone; neither will we boycott the elections. We will simply not participate,'' the aide told Kyodo News on condition of anonymity.

---------- 4 dead, 200 hurt in Bangladesh labor dispute, reports say

DHAKA - At least four people are reported dead and more than 200 others injured after violent clashes Saturday between garment workers and police in the Tongi industrial area about 30 kilometers northwest of the Bangladeshi capital Dhaka.

Details about the deaths are unconfirmed, but local sources said two female police officers may be among those killed.

---------- N. Korean city eyes full talks with UNESCO from Feb. for World Heritage

KAESONG, North Korea - The North Korean city Kaesong plans to launch full-fledged talks with the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization in February to get its historical sites registered as the World Heritage, according to a Kaesong official.

Kaesong plans to decide whether it will propose individual sites such as the Koryo Museum and the Nam Gate or the city as a whole for inclusion in the UNESCO World Heritage, Kim Ryong Mun, a city official in charge of external affairs, said Friday.

---------- N. Korea officials willing to improve ties with U.S.

NEW YORK - North Korean officials who took part in a private forum here Friday expressed Pyongyang's willingness to improve relations with the United States, U.S. participants said.

''I think the general impression was they were willing to engage,'' former U.S. Ambassador to China Winston Lord said during a news conference.

---------- Ministry to mull settlements with Minamata disease patients

KUMAMOTO, Japan - Senior vice environment minister Issei Tajima showed willingness Saturday to begin talks toward settlements with unrecognized Minamata disease patients engaged in court battles.

Tajima told groups of sufferers from the industrial disease that his ministry would like to ''start preparatory talks to work on preconditions'' for court settlement talks and to ''move forward for settlements if it seems possible.''

---------- Bush to visit to Japan next week

WASHINGTON - Former U.S. President George W. Bush is arranging a two-day trip to Japan next week during which he is expected to meet with former Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, Japanese and U.S. sources said Friday.

Bush's first-ever visit to Japan, likely to take place on Tuesday and Wednesday, is at the invitation of a private-sector organization, they said, adding that he is also expected to deliver a speech and watch a baseball game in Tokyo.

---------- Tsutaya DVD rental chain to launch returns by mail

TOKYO - Culture Convenience Club Co. which runs the Tsutaya DVD rental shop chain plans to let customers return rented DVDs and CDs by post, company officials said Saturday.

Expecting that the new arragement will improve convenience for seniors and those who live in rural areas, the company will launch the service at about 170 shops in three areas -- those in the Hokkaido and Kyushu areas from Sunday and those in Okinawa from mid-November. The service will gradually be extended throughout the country later, they added.

---------- Dalai Lama says his visit to Tawang not political move

TOKYO - Visiting exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama said Saturday his planned visit to Buddhist monasteries in a disputed area near the China-India border is not politically motivated and should not upset the Chinese government.

The Dalai Lama is scheduled to visit Tawang monasteries in Arunachal Pradesh next month and said he will go there to teach his beliefs at the invitation of local leaders.
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Publication:Asian Political News
Geographic Code:9NORT
Date:Nov 2, 2009
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