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The government will invite young members of the Chinese Communist Party here for up to two weeks in an exchange program to deepen their understanding of Japan, Foreign Minister Yohei Kono said Tuesday.

The decision follows Kono’s visit to Beijing late last month, when Communist Party executives told him that China wants to send young party leaders to Japan to gain international experience, Kono said.

The government plans to accept about 20 Communist Party members for between 10 days and two weeks as part of an exchange program under the Japan International Cooperation Agency, he said, adding that Japanese lawmakers will also be sent to China.

“Raising the understanding of Japan among young Chinese politicians is extremely important to boost bilateral ties,” Kono said.

The program is expected to start by the end of March 2001.

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