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Japanese FM due in Tehran to discuss ties, Iraq, nuke: embassy

Japanese Foreign Minister Yoriko Kawaguchi will arrive in Tehran Tuesday for a two-day visit to discuss a host of issues, including bilateral ties, the Iraqi situation and Iran's nuclear plans, Japan's embassy said in a press release on Monday, IRNA reported.

She will hold talks with President Mohammad Khatami, Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi and other Iranian officials it added. The visit is the second by Kawaguchi since her last trip to Iran in May 2002.

Press secretary of the Japanese Foreign Ministry, Hatsuhisa Takashima will accompany Kawaguchi as the spokesperson, the embassy said, adding the foreign minister will also give a press briefing to the Iranian press.

Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid-Reza Asefi said Sunday that the Japanese delegation will discuss aid to the victims of a deadly earthquake in the southeastern Iranian city of Bam, including 'ways of fighting the quake's fallout'.

Japan has allocated one million dollars in cash as part of its humanitarian aid to the victims of the disaster, in addition to non-cash assistance.

The country sent an emergency rescue team to Bam, followed by two C-130 aircraft with a 40-member relief team as well as blankets and tents and other relief goods.

"Japan, besides, is interested in seeking Iran's views regarding Afghanistan and Iraq," Asefi said.

Tokyo has decided to commit troops to Iran's immediate neighbor Iraq to help with reconstruction and humanitarian assistance in the war-torn country.

... Payvand News - 1/5/04 ... --

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