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Foreign Minister Taro Aso plans to visit the United States in late April for talks with U.S. officials ahead of a planned visit by Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi in June, Foreign Ministry sources said Wednesday.

Aso appears to be trying to raise his profile as a potential successor to Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi by making a side trip to San Francisco, where he plans to visit two historical sites that defined Japan’s postwar relationship with the U.S.

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