• Kyodo

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Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi expressed hope Friday that the World Cup soccer finals will be an opportunity for people to reflect on the importance of world peace.

Koizumi arrived in Seoul around 2:50 p.m. to attend the opening ceremony. He is scheduled to stay in South Korea for two days.

Speaking to reporters on a government plane en route to Seoul, Koizumi said he hopes people will reflect on peace despite the heavy measures implemented to deal with possible incidents involving terrorists or soccer hooligans.

Koizumi also said he hopes the tournament will enhance exchanges between Japan and South Korea.

On other matters, he expressed his readiness to revise national security and other key bills.

He said he will listen seriously to opposition parties’ opinions and consider changing key bills flexibly, if necessary.

While it appears to be nearly impossible to enact several packages of what Koizumi considers key bills by the scheduled closing date, it is still too early to talk about the possibility of extending the session, he said.

He also did not rule out the possibility of a Cabinet change after the current Diet session ends.

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