• Kyodo News

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Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Australian Prime Minister John Howard agreed Thursday to continue bilateral cooperation in addressing the North Korean nuclear and abduction issues, Iraq’s reconstruction, and global warming and climate change, Japanese officials said.

In the 15-minute telephone conversation, the two leaders also agreed to work together on realizing a successful summit of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum scheduled to be held in Sydney in September.

On negotiations for a bilateral free-trade agreement, Abe repeated his hopes that consideration will be given to sensitive areas, especially Japan’s agricultural sector.

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