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More than half a million people have registered their e-mail addresses to subscribe to Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi’s e-mail magazine to be launched today, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuo Fukuda said Wednesday.

“This is a world record,” the top government spokesman said of the list of 585,000 subscribers at a news conference.

The most popular e-mail magazine in Japan until now has been on shopping, which boasts a circulation of 410,000, a government official said.

“Of course, we cannot be absolutely sure that that was the largest-circulation magazine in the world,” one official said. “But since such magazines are the most popular in Japan, and it was the biggest, I think it’s safe to say the Koizumi Cabinet e-mail magazine will be one of the largest internationally.”

Those who register will receive the Japanese-language weekly free of charge.

Koizumi, who took office after winning support from rank-and-file members of his ruling Liberal Democratic Party in a party presidential race, has enjoyed sky-high popularity ratings during his seven weeks in power.

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