• Kyodo

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South Korea’s foreign affairs and trade minister, Lee Joung Binn, will make a two-day visit to Japan beginning Nov. 6 to hold talks with Foreign Minister Yohei Kono, a ministry official here said Sunday.

Lee and Kono are expected to follow up on issues discussed during President Kim Dae Jung’s recent visit to Japan, including policy coordination on North Korea and increasing flights between Japan and South Korea ahead of the 2002 World Cup soccer finals, which the two countries will host together, the official said.

They will also discuss a bill to allow permanent foreign residents in Japan, many of whom are Korean, to vote in local elections, the official said. Japanese lawmakers are expected to discuss the bill in the current Diet session.

South Korea is pressing Japan to enact the bill at an early date.

The official also said the Kono-Lee meeting “could serve as a replacement” for the bilateral cabinet-level ministerial talks that were originally scheduled for the yearend. These talks have been put into doubt because the Japanese Cabinet is expected to reshuffled in December.

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