Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi and U.S. President George W. Bush confirmed Friday that Japan and the United States will cooperate on the reconstruction of Iraq, government officials said.

In a telephone conversation, Bush is believed to have called for Japan to help fund the reconstruction.

Bush has urged allies such as Japan, European nations and Middle Eastern states to give money for freedom in Iraq as well as Afghanistan.

The U.S. government estimates between $50 billion and $75 billion would be needed for the reconstruction. Washington is planning to earmark $20 billion for Iraq in the extra budget. Japan has begun preparations to offer about $1 billion to help rebuild Iraq in 2004 to respond to the U.S. request.

The U.S. president was also quoted as telling Koizumi that he is looking forward to visiting Japan in mid-October.

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