• Kyodo

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In response to the announcement Thursday that U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright will not attend the Group of Eight foreign ministers’ meeting, the city of Miyazaki has decided not to name a new hall after her, as originally planned.

Officials of the city, the venue for next week’s G8 ministers’ meeting, said the new civic hall, which was recently completed and will be opened to the public in October, will not now be named Albright Hall.

Albright was scheduled to give a speech at the hall during her stay in Miyazaki to attend the July 12-13 meeting of foreign ministers of the G8 nations.

In May, city officials said Miyazaki Mayor Shigemitsu Tsumura had asked Albright for her consent to name the multipurpose hall after her, and the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo notified the city of her positive response and willingness to give a speech.

Junior high school students from four cities and three towns in Miyazaki Prefecture with sister-city ties with municipalities in the U.S. were also scheduled to attend Albright’s address and welcome her.

Albright informed Foreign Minister Yohei Kono on Thursday that she would be unable to attend the meeting because of next week’s Middle East summit in the United States. U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott will attend the gathering in her place.

The G8 comprises Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United States and Russia.