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Yuriy V. Kostenko, the new Ukraine Ambassador to Japan, said Thursday he is satisfied with the development in bilateral relations and the deepened mutual understanding in the 10 years since his country became independent of the former Soviet Union.

Kostenko, who assumed the post six months ago, said during a Kostenkovisit to The Japan Times that his government is grateful for the assistance Japanese people extended to help the people of Chernobyl after the nuclear-plant disaster of 1986. He added that the two nations have become very close despite the 10,000 km between them.

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