• Kyodo

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Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi was reacquainted Tuesday afternoon with about 20 orphans from an orphanage in Soweto, South Africa, whom he met five years ago during a visit to the country as health minister.

Koizumi, in Johannesburg to attend the U.N. Summit on Sustainable Development, met with the orphans at Ubuntu Village, where exhibitions and events are being held in parallel with the summit.

“You’ve grown well,” he told the orphans, who welcomed him with songs. “Five years ago, I didn’t think I would see you all again as prime minister.”

The orphans performed some of the songs with harmonicas they received from the then health minister.

Koizumi visited the Japan Pavilion, which explains efforts Japan has been making to deal with environmental protection and development issues.

He also visited NASREC, which has served as the base for nongovernmental organizations during the 10-day summit.

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