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Visiting Saudi Arabian economic planning minister Muhammad al-Qusseibi on Tuesday called on Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi to boost bilateral ties in such sectors as trade and investment, a Japanese government official said.

The minister was also quoted as saying he hopes Japan will extend technical assistance to enable Saudis to independently repair and maintain Japanese products such as TV sets and automobiles.

The minister, who concurrently serves as posts, telegraphs and telecommunications minister, called on Japan to provide training programs for youths who want to be technicians.

The Saudi minister also said unrest in the Palestinian territory is of concern to Arab people. In response, Koizumi said he will consider how to help ease tension in the Middle East, the official said.

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