• Kyodo

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U.S. President George W. Bush will visit Japan on Oct. 17 for talks with Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, Japanese government sources said Tuesday.

Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld is also considering visiting Japan in the latter half of October, the sources said. Bush is to stop over in Japan before heading to Bangkok to attend the annual summit of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum Oct. 20 and 21.

Bush and Koizumi are expected to focus their talks on North Korea’s nuclear development and Iraq’s reconstruction.

Bush and Rumsfeld are expected to urge Japan to make an active contribution to Iraq reconstruction and may also discuss the dispatch of Self-Defense Forces. Discussions in the next six-nation talks over North Korean nuclear issues are also expected.