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The government will send Foreign Minister Yohei Kono to Syria to make a call of condolence over the death of President Hafez Assad, Chief Cabinet Secretary Mikio Aoki said Monday.

Assad passed away on Saturday in Damascus.

“The Japanese government sincerely expresses its condolences to (Assad’s) family, the government and the people of the country,” Aoki said during a regular press conference.

“Considering (Japan’s) friendly relations and cooperation with the country, the Japanese government has decided to send Foreign Minister Kono to make a call of condolence,” Aoki said.