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    Japan's Deputy Prime Minister, Mr. Takeo Miki, met Iraq President Ahmad Al-Bakr on Thursday (27?

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    Japan's Deputy Prime Minister, Mr. Takeo Miki, met Iraq President Ahmad Al-Bakr on Thursday (27 December) for talks aimed at restoring the full supply of Arab oil to Japan and furthering economic and trading links between his country and the Middle East.

    During the half-hour meeting, Mr. Miki delivered a personal note to the President from the Japanese Prime Minister, Mr. Kakuei Tanka, and presented it to President Al-Bakr.

    Mr. Miki's tour of the Middle East marks a favourable reversal of Japanese foreign police towards the Arab nations, although the Japanese Government has stressed it is not anti-Israel.

    SYNOPSIS: Japan's Deputy Prime Minister, Mr. Takeo Miki, has been in Iraq as Part of his tour of the Middle East.

    On Thursday, Mr. Miki had a meeting with Iraq's President, Ahmad Al-Bakr. His tour is aimed at boosting Japan's image in the Arab world, especially amongst oil producers.

    The Japanese government is hoping to strengthen trade and economic links, as well as restoring the flow of Arab oil to the nation.

    During the meeting, Mr. Miki presented President Al-Bakr with a ceremonial sword, and also delivered a hand-written note from Prime Minister Tanaka. In recent weeks, Japan has changed its Middle Eastern policy, now favouring Arab nations, although the government stresses it is not anti-Israel.

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    Reuters - Source to be Verified
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