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Kyodo news summary.

TOKYO, April 28 Kyodo

---------- Abe leaves for Middle East after summit meeting with Bush

WASHINGTON - Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe left the United States for Saudi Arabia on Friday evening after holding a summit meeting with U.S. President George W. Bush.

During his five-nation tour of the Middle East, Abe will discuss with leaders there cooperation over securing stable energy supplies for Japan, the Mideast peace process and global issues such as Iraq and Iran.

---------- Abe, Bush warn N. Korea of tougher action, settle sex slave issue

WASHINGTON - Visiting Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe completed his first visit to the United States as premier Friday, having reaffirmed with U.S. President George W. Bush the strong bilateral alliance and jointly issued a strong message that North Korea could face ''more sanctions'' if it fails to act on its promise to take initial denuclearization steps.

During his two-day stay in Washington, Abe made efforts to calm the furor in the United States over his March remarks denying the Japanese military coerced women to work in brothels during World War II, repeating to congressional leaders on Thursday and to Bush on Friday his sympathy for the victims and regret about the ''misunderstanding.''

---------- Bush recalls Megumi's mother in urging N. Korea to return abductees

WASHINGTON - U.S. President George W. Bush recalled Friday his ''emotional'' meeting with Sakie Yokota, the mother of Japanese abductee Megumi, last year in reaffirming his commitment to pressing North Korea to return Japanese and other abductees.

Bush made the comments at a joint press conference with visiting Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe when asked if resolving the abduction issue still remains as the precondition for Washington's negotiations with Pyongyang over removing North Korea from a list of states sponsoring terrorism.

---------- Abe meets with former English teachers, stresses 'human' exchanges

WASHINGTON - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe ended his two-day visit to Washington on Friday afternoon by meeting with former participants of the Japan Exchange and Teaching program, a Japanese government-run initiative bringing native English speakers to schools throughout Japan.

In opening remarks, Abe stressed the importance of educational and cultural exchanges in supporting ties between Japan and the United States, telling the former teachers they represented a ''huge asset to Japan-U.S. relations.''

---------- Golden Week exodus starts at Narita airport

NARITA, Japan - A massive exodus of holidaymakers started at Narita International Airport near Tokyo on Saturday, with its operator estimating some 727,000 people will go through the airport during Japan's Golden Week holiday season through May 6.

According to a major travel agency, China is attracting many tourists from Japan as it enjoys a robust economy prior to the 2008 Beijing Olympics, while Hong Kong and Macao are also popular destinations.

---------- 40 tons of illegally traded ivory seized in 2 yrs

TOKYO - Some 40 tons of illegally traded ivory was seized around the world in the two-year period through the end of 2006, research by the governments of Kenya and Mali showed Saturday.

The seized ivory includes some 3 tons confiscated at an Osaka port last year.

---------- M4.4 quake jolts central Japan

NAGOYA - An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 4.4 jolted central Japan on Saturday morning, the Japan Meteorological Agency said.

There were no immediate reports of casualties or damage from the 9:27 a.m. quake, which measured 3 on the Japanese seismic intensity scale of 7 in Ono, Fukui Prefecture, as well as Yamagata and Gujo in Gifu Prefecture, according to the agency.
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Publication:Japan Policy & Politics
Geographic Code:9JAPA
Date:Apr 30, 2007
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