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Defense Agency Chief Fumio Kyuma said April 10 that he plans to visit China in early May for defense talks and to inspect Chinese military units.

During the visit, Kyuma is expected to meet with his counterpart, Chi Haotian, and other top defense officials as well as the new premier, Zhu Rongji. Kyuma also hopes to visit Chinese military units along the coast and in inland areas where no other Japanese government officials have been before.

Kyuma will be the first Japanese defense chief to visit the communist state since 1987. Tokyo and Beijing have been making arrangements for Kyuma’s visit since January, when Chi visited Japan for the first time as Chinese defense minister. Kyuma told reporters April 10 that he will probably visit China during the Golden Week holidays between May 1 and 5.

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