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The Democratic Party of Japan will launch a group to promote Sino-Japanese cooperation on environmental issues later this month, with former Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama serving as chairman, DPJ sources said Thursday.

The decision to set up the group is aimed at encouraging environment-related investment in and provision of technical cooperation to China. It was reached at a meeting Thursday attended by Hatoyama, DPJ Diet affairs chief Shinji Tarutoko and others, the sources said. Hatoyama is scheduled to visit China on Aug. 16 accompanied by fellow DPJ lawmaker and close aide Yoshikatsu Nakayama, who will be acting chief of the group.

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