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Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi and South Korean President Kim Dae Jung will broadcast televised messages to each other’s nations today, kick-starting a yearlong series of events aimed at boosting bilateral ties.

“We greet the new year of 2002 as the beginning of a historic year between Japan and South Korea,” Koizumi will say in his prerecorded message. “We will cohost the World Cup soccer finals this year, and it is our first ever joint project directed to the entire world.”

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