The Japan Federation of Economic Organizations (Keidanren) said Mar. 18 that it will send a six-day mission to South American countries starting Mar. 21, aimed at strengthening business ties with the region, which has entered a period of economic growth.

The mission, led by Keidanren Chairman Shoichiro Toyoda, will visit Argentina, Brazil and Chile. It is scheduled to meet Brazilian President Fernando Henrique Cardoso, who invited Toyoda to visit his country when he was in Tokyo last March, and Chilean President Eduardo Frei. Sony Corp. Chairman Norio Ohga and Itochu Corp. President Minoru Murofushi are expected to accompany Toyoda.

It will be the first time for Toyoda to visit South American countries as the Keidanren chairman, according to Keidanren officials.

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