• Staff report

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Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi is planning an April 29-May 5 trip that will take in Ethiopia, Ghana and Sweden in a bid to reinforce Japan’s relations with Africa and discuss the Scandinavian nation’s successful social welfare system, the government said Wednesday.

The trip will be the first official visit by a Japanese prime minister to those three countries.

The government is making arrangements for Koizumi to meet with his counterparts — Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, Ghanaian President John Kufuor and Swedish Prime Minister Goran Persson — during the trip.

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