• Kyodo News

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U.S. President George W. Bush telephoned Prime Minister Taro Aso on Monday to bid farewell and express his appreciation before handing over the presidency to Barack Obama, Japanese officials said.

Bush made similar calls to other leaders, including Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, South Korean President Lee Myung Bak and Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, said Gordon Johndroe, spokesman for the White House’s National Security Council.

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