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Japan supports the decision by the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization to freeze oil shipments to North Korea beginning in December, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuo Fukuda said Friday.

“Japan welcomes the KEDO decision, which was made after close policy coordination among concerned countries,” Fukuda told a regularly scheduled briefing for reporters. “We strongly urge North Korea to sincerely respond to our call and immediately scrap its nuclear (weapons) development program.”

Separately, Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi told reporters at his official residence Japan will coordinate policy closely with the United States and South Korea in dealing with Pyongyang’s nuclear arms program.

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