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Tokyo supports Vietnam and Peru in their bids to become members in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, Foreign Minister Yukihiko Ikeda told Australian government officials July 31, according to Foreign Ministry officials.

Ikeda met with Australian Deputy Prime Minister and Trade Minister Timothy Fischer, who has called for a careful expansion of the forum’s membership. Ikeda said he supports Fisher’s view and wants to see a limited expansion, according to Foreign Ministry officials.

Ikeda and Fisher discussed the matter during a dinner meeting that was attended by all ministers who will participate in a ministerial meeting Aug. 1 between Japan and Australia. Regarding North Korea, Ikeda told Fischer that attitudes in the North are changing and Pyongyang is aiming toward dialogue with the United States, South Korea and Japan, the officials said.

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