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Amid tight security, Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, the U.S. ambassador to Japan, foreign dignitaries, and the general public joined a prayer service Sunday for the victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in the United States.

“These terrorist attacks are a serious challenge not only to the United States, but to the freedom and democracy of the world,” said Koizumi in a speech at the Ceremony for All Victims of Terrorist Attacks in the U.S., which started 2 p.m. at Tokyo Big Sight in Tokyo’s Koto Ward. The ceremony was jointly sponsored by the Japanese government and the America-Japan Society.

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