Source Pravda.Ru

Japanese prime minister to visit Israel, Palestinian territories in January

Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi will visit Israel and the Palestinian territories early next year to further the Middle East peace process, a top official said Monday.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Shinzo Abe said Koizumi would also visit Turkey during the trip, which is apparently part of government efforts to raise Japan's diplomatic profile.

Abe said a schedule was still being worked out.

Kyodo News agency reported last week that Koizumi would meet with Prime Minister Ariel Sharon of Israel and Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian territories, possibly organizing a three-party summit.

Koizumi will stop in Turkey for talks with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, a key U.S. ally, to demonstrate Japan's support of Washington's policy in the region, Kyodo said.

Japan has tried to improve its standing in international politics, campaigning _ so far unsuccessfully _ to win a permanent seat on the U.N. Security Council together with India, Germany and Brazil.

The ruling Liberal Democratic Party has also proposed a constitutional change that would create an official role for the Japanese military, enabling it to assist military allies and help with armed international peacekeeping.

It would be the first visit by a Japanese leader to the Middle East in a decade. Then Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama toured Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Syria, Israel, the Gaza Strip and Jordan in 1995, AP reported. V.A.

Several years ago, a prominent Indonesian businessman who now resides in Canada, insisted on meeting me in a back room of one of Jakarta's posh restaurants. An avid reader of mine, he 'had something urgent to tell me', after finding out that our paths were going to be crossing in this destroyed and hopelessly polluted Indonesian capital.

Capitalism reduced Indonesian cities to infested carcases

Several years ago, a prominent Indonesian businessman who now resides in Canada, insisted on meeting me in a back room of one of Jakarta's posh restaurants. An avid reader of mine, he 'had something urgent to tell me', after finding out that our paths were going to be crossing in this destroyed and hopelessly polluted Indonesian capital.

Capitalism reduced Indonesian cities to infested carcases
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