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Japan and the United States have basically agreed that Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi will visit Washington in late September for talks with President George W. Bush, according to sources.

The summit will be aimed at confirming the “strong alliance” between Japan and the U.S. amid differences over such issues as United Nations reform and the beef trade, the sources said.

The U.S. has asked Koizumi to make an official visit, apart from his planned visit to New York for a special U.N. General Assembly summit to be held Sept. 14 to 16, according to the sources, adding the summit is expected to be held around Sept. 26.

But that date may be changed if Koizumi’s postal privatization bills fail to clear the House of Councilors, as the prime minister has indicated he would call a snap election of the Lower House if his contentious bills, now in the Upper House, are voted down, the sources said.

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