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Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi told U.S. President George W. Bush in November he would not stop visiting Yasukuni Shrine even at the request of the United States, sources familiar with bilateral relations said Saturday.

“I will never stop (visiting the shrine), even if asked by the United States not to,” Koizumi was quoted as telling Bush during their Nov. 16 summit in Kyoto. Bush is Koizumi’s closest ally on the international stage.

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