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Japan, China to agree on rice imports and environment: reports
TOKYO: Japan will offer China help to curb greenhouse gas and Beijing will agree to resume importing Japanese rice when China's premier pays a landmark visit here this week, reports said Sunday.

Premier Wen Jiabao is due here Wednesday in the first visit by a Chinese leader to Japan since 2000, as the Asian powers try to repair frayed relations.

But there have been no indications the two nations can strike a deal on a protracted dispute over gas fields in the East China Sea. Japanese officials had earlier hoped for an agreement during Wen's visit.

A joint statement during Wen's summit with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will feature about 10 items including Japan's agreement to transfer energy-saving technology to China, the Nikkei business daily said, without citing sources.

The Kyoto Protocol requires cuts in greenhouse gas emissions but makes no demands of emerging economies, leading the United States and Australia to shun the pact.

But Japan will transfer the technology assuming that China will participate in global efforts to fight global warming in a post-Kyoto framework, the Nikkei said.

China also plans to announce an accord to resume imports of Japanese rice, the Sankei Shimbun daily reported.

China is the world's largest rice consumer, although it says it is self-sufficient. Japan actively promotes its own rice industry, imposing high tariffs on foreign imports.

China banned Japanese rice in 2003, saying insects were found in a shipment.

Negotiations to resume exports bogged down amid political discord. Japan's former prime minister Junichiro Koizumi enraged China by repeatedly visiting a controversial war shrine.

Abe has worked to repair ties since succeeding Koizumi in September. He went to Beijing on his first foreign trip as premier and has stayed silent on whether he will go to the Yasukuni shrine.
MGR Archive 8.4.2007
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Russia Rapan $ 700
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