• Kyodo

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U.S. President George W. Bush will have a “relaxing social” dinner with Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi in central Tokyo on Oct. 17, a senior U.S. administration official said Wednesday.

Upon his arrival in Tokyo in the late afternoon, Bush will meet with Koizumi in a restaurant and “compare notes and compare assessments” about key issues, including Iraq’s reconstruction and the North Korean nuclear crisis, according to the official.

“It’s kind of a relaxing social dinner,” he said.

Bush and Koizumi will be accompanied at the dinner by Bush’s wife, Laura, and U.S. Ambassador Howard Baker and his wife, Nancy, the official said.

There will be no news conference, speech or anything such as receptions, he said.

Bush will leave Tokyo the next morning for the Philippines before visiting Bangkok to attend a summit of the Oct. 20-21 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum.

When Bush last visited Tokyo in February 2002, Koizumi took the couple for an informal dinner at a popular restaurant.

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