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Chief Cabinet Secretary Shinzo Abe, the leading candidate to succeed Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, said Wednesday he will try to hold bilateral summit meetings with China and South Korea if he becomes prime minister.

Japan has not had a summit with the leader of either country since last year. Relations with Seoul and Beijing soured after Koizumi refused to halt his well-publicized annual visits to war-linked Yasukuni Shrine.

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