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Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi will visit Russia in early May to attend a ceremony to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Allied victory in World War II, Chief Cabinet Secretary Hiroyuki Hosoda said Thursday.

Arrangements are also under way for Koizumi to hold talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin, and possibly a trilateral meeting with South Korean President Roh Moo Hyun and Chinese President Hu Jintao, Hosoda told a news conference.

Koizumi will leave Tokyo on May 8, attend the ceremony the next day in Moscow and return home May 10.

Koizumi decided to participate in the ceremony “as it is designed to renew the resolve of the international community to counter global threats such as international terrorism and other challenges of the 21st century,” Hosoda said.

Leaders of about 50 countries, including those of the Group of Eight major industrialized nations as well as China and South Korea, are expected to attend the event to mark what Moscow calls the 60th Anniversary of Victory in the Great Patriotic War. The war ended in Europe in May 1945.

Tokyo feels it is important that Koizumi joins them, as head of a country that is a responsible leader of the international community, Hosoda said.

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