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Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda and new South Korean President Lee Myung Bak agreed in their first meeting Monday to resume stalled reciprocal visits and promote talks for concluding a free-trade agreement in a bid to build future-oriented ties.

“I called for building a new era in Japan-South Korea relations, and the president said he shares exactly the same idea,” Fukuda told reporters after the 50-minute meeting, held soon after Lee’s inauguration ceremony.

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