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Given the plethora of issues facing the two nation en” issue and the US's proposed nonbinding resol Party Talks and North Korea's nuclear program, “t and Japan's continued support for the war in tag US, Prime Minister Abe and President Bush will inde talk about [Abe's Chief Cabinet Secretary, Yasuhisa Shiozaki confi ppan-US alliance isa stabilizin 1 region” and that Whe eae ers plan to diseuss ways to strengthen the alliance fe Asia.” the US, Abe's visit finally comes after trips to China, Viemam, Australia, the Philippines and various European countries, Editor's Analysis: Various analysts have advanced numerous theories to explain what can only be described as a political snub, Frankly, it's refreshing to see a Japanese leader who doesn't handle America with kid gloves and bow to its every whim. This could reflect an administration ‘that is genuinely more concemed with Japanese interests than appeasing America, On the other hand, we might be witnessing the fist cracks in the veneer of Abe's sometimes contradictory and often secretive foreign policy. At any rate, le’s hope Bush is more successful at getting direct ‘answers from him, otherwise, he'll join the long and distinguished list of people who lave no idea what Abe is thinkin. BEY te MEU eo tiny Thailand's Prime Minister, Surayud Chulanont, was in Tokyo in April to finaly put his signature on an Economic Partnership Agreement that had stalled fortwo years. The Japan-Thailand EPA (ITEPA) will eliminate or reduce tariffs on approximately 92% of products flowing between the two ‘Asian nations which should encourage Japanese manufacturers to inerase ‘beir investments in Thailand. Thailand's vast agricultural sector, which pro-

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