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Saturday, Feb. 28, 2009

Nakasone to seek 'gyoza' poisoning update on China trip

Staff writer

Japan will seek an update from Beijing on its probe into last year's food poisonings linked to frozen "gyoza" dumplings made in China, Foreign Minister Hirofumi Nakasone said Friday.

Nakasone will arrive for a two-day stay in Beijing on Saturday. He is scheduled to meet Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi and possibly other leaders, including Chinese President Hu Jintao, he said.

"It's been a while since the gyoza issue. They are working very hard on the case and I will be asking about the progress," Nakasone told reporters.

Japan and China disagree on the origin of the contamination. The imported dumplings, which were tainted with pesticide, sickened people in 10 cases in Japan last January.

The ministerial meeting will also touch upon joint development of gas fields in the East China Sea, an accord for transferring suspected fugitives between both countries, and a proposal to return convicted nationals so they can serve their sentences in their home countries.

Nakasone, making his first visit to China as foreign minister, is also expected to lay the foundation for Prime Minister Taro Aso's visit to China.

"We have a variety of bilateral issues, as well as the need to collaborate on global matters," the minister said Friday, adding that discussions about six-party talks on North Korea's denuclearization will also take place.

"We hope that China will continue to show its leadership as the chair" of the denuclearization talks, Nakasone said.

A Foreign Ministry official told reporters that the talks with Yang will reflect the outcome of Tuesday's summit between Aso and U.S. President Barack Obama, with Nakasone urging Beijing to play a constructive role in the global community.

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The Japan Times

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