The Foreign Ministry decided Monday to dispatch a fact-finding mission to Macedonia and Albania this week to gather information necessary for the designation of further aid for Kosovar refugees.

The team, consisting of seven or eight members and headed by Yoshitaka Akimoto, chief of the ministry’s East Europe Division, will leave Tokyo on Wednesday and visit the Macedonian and Albanian capitals of Skopje and Tirana, Vice Foreign Minister Shunji Yanai told a news conference.

The mission will investigate the current situation of the refugees — now estimated to number 300,000 by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees — and assess their needs, Yanai said.

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