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Ministers from Japan and African nations highlighted the importance of democracy and the rule of law in their two-day online talks that ended Sunday, amid China's growing assertiveness and Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

"The participants underscored the need for the consolidation of democracy and good governance under the rule of law as a pressing priority," the Foreign Ministry said in the chair's summary released Monday following the meeting, which precedes the eighth Tokyo International Conference on African Development slated for August.

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