Japan to host Yudhoyono amid FTA hopes
Tuesday, October 31st, 2006

TOKYO (AP): President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono will
visit Japan in late November, Japanís Foreign Ministry said
Tuesday, as the two countries work toward reaching a free trade
agreement.

Yudhoyono is expected to meet Japanese Emperor Akihito and
Empress Michiko, as well as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during his
Nov. 26-29 visit, the ministry said in a statement.

The statement provided no more details about the presidentís
visit, which comes as the two countries work to conclude
negotiations toward a free trade deal that began in July 2005.

After the latest round of talks in Tokyo earlier this month, the
Foreign Ministry said the two countries made progress in areas
including goods and services and investment rules, but that
negotiations were still needed in other areas such as energy.

The two countries have been looking into ways to ensure a stable
supply of energy from Indonesia, which Japan relies upon for about one-third of its natural gas needs, ministry official
Yuichi Watanabe said.

The countries hope to reach an agreement in principle during
November, Kyodo News agency reported at the time, citing
unidentified Japanese officials. (**)
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