• Kyodo

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U.S. President George W. Bush plans to visit Japan around Nov. 15 or 16 for talks with Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, Japanese and U.S. diplomatic sources said Monday.

The two sides have begun coordinating the visit, which is to take place ahead of his trip to Pusan, South Korea, to attend the annual Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit Nov. 18 and 19, the sources said.

Japan and the U.S. are expected to accelerate negotiations on such key issues as the realignment of military bases in Japan and the resumption of U.S. beef imports ahead of Bush’s trip.

He is also mulling a visit to China during his Asian tour, but no date has been set because President Hu Jintao’s visit to the U.S. had to be rescheduled due to Hurricane Katrina. They are expected to meet Tuesday in New York.

Bush is likely to confirm his cooperation with Japanese and South Korean leaders on resolving the standoff over North Korea’s nuclear ambitions.

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