Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi met with the second son of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi on Monday and pledged to support Libya’s economic reforms after its 2003 decision to scrap its weapons of mass destruction.

“We are in real need of Japanese help” to modernize Libya’s economy, Seif al-Islam Gadhafi, president of a Libyan charity fund, told reporters after meeting Koizumi.

The son, seen as a potential successor to his father, is in Japan to attend the World Exposition in Aichi Prefecture.

“We asked the prime minister for that help and he said he would be very happy to support Libyans in this process,” he said.

Koizumi told the son of the Libyan leader that he appreciates the “historic decision” Libya made in December 2003 to scrap its programs on weapons of mass destruction, according to a Foreign Ministry official.

Koizumi cited Libya’s example when he urged North Korean leader Kim Jong Il to scrap his nuclear programs during their talks — held in September 2002 and May 2004. Gadhafi responded that his country can set a good example for others, the official said.

Gadhafi arrived in Tokyo on Sunday for an eight-day visit here that will also take him to Aichi Prefecture to see the world exposition on Thursday.

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