Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori will seek cooperation from Japan’s partners at the upcoming Asia-Europe Meeting in Seoul on some of the key issues discussed at July’s Group of Eight summit, according to Foreign Ministry officials.

Mori leaves today for the three-day ASEM summit, which starts with a working dinner in the evening.

He will urge fellow members to take part in the information technology revolution and to join in the fight against infectious and parasitic diseases, the officials said.

Japan and South Korea are considering jointly proposing the adoption of an initiative aimed at eliminating the digital divide, while Mori is expected to urge respective ASEM member countries to reinforce their fight against diseases, the officials said.

The proposals will be made during one of the ASEM summit’s three closed sessions Friday and Saturday, according to the officials.

During the meeting, the Asian and European leaders will adopt three documents, including the Seoul Declaration calling for peace on the Korean Peninsula and the Asia-Europe Cooperation Framework 2000, which presents the vision and aims of ASEM for the 21st century.

The third document is the chairman’s statement summarizing the results of the ASEM talks in Seoul, to be released Saturday at a press conference held by South Korean President Kim Dae Jung.

On the sidelines of the meeting, Mori is scheduled to meet British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker and Brunei King Hassanal Bolkiah to discuss bilateral and multilateral issues, according to the officials.

During his meeting Saturday with King Bolkiah, Mori is expected to pledge Japan’s support for the success of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum meetings slated for November in Brunei.

Mori will return to Tokyo on Saturday afternoon, the officials said.

Foreign Minister Yohei Kono was to fly to Seoul on Wednesday to attend the ASEM summit’s ministerial preparatory meeting Thursday and a working dinner of ASEM foreign ministers.

Kono is to meet with Chinese Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan, British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook, Belgian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Louis Michel, and Indonesian Foreign Minister Alwi Shihab before returning to Japan on Friday afternoon.

ASEM is aimed at contributing to political stability in Asia and Europe by promoting trust among its members.

The Seoul meeting is the third ASEM summit following the inaugural meeting in 1996 in Bangkok and a second one two years ago in London.

The Asian members of ASEM are Brunei, China, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand and Vietnam. Those from Europe are Austria, Belgium, Britain, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and the European Commission.

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