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Japan and China agreed Thursday that their leaders will hold talks on the sidelines of the upcoming Group of Eight summit in Heiligendamm, Germany, according to Japanese government sources.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and President Hu Jintao are expected to discuss various bilateral issues, including a dispute over gas field projects in the East China Sea.

Leaders of certain major emerging economies like China have been invited to the G8 summit site for discussions.

Abe and Hu last met on the sidelines of the summit of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in November in Hanoi.

China’s energy project in the waters between the two countries has been a source of bilateral dispute. Abe agreed with Premier Wen Jiabao in their talks in Japan last month to hammer out concrete measures to deal with the issue by this fall.

Lee plans third visit

TAIPEI — Former Taiwan President Lee Teng-hui will visit Japan from late May to early June for cultural and academic exchanges as well as sightseeing, Lee’s office said Thursday.

Lee, 84, will stay in Tokyo from May 30 to June 9, the office said. He plans to make his first speech in Tokyo and visit five prefectures — Miyagi, Yamagata, Iwate, Akita and Gunma.

Lee will also meet the press in Tokyo on the last day of his trip, the office said.

The former Taiwan leader has visited Japan twice since stepping down — in April 2001 for heart treatment in Kurashiki, Okayama Pregfecture, and in late 2004 for a weeklong tour of Kanazawa, Nagoya and Kyoto. He did not hold any press conferences during the visits.

Lee planned to visit Japan in May and September last year but canceled both due to health concerns.

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