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Bush Heads to Japan For G-8 Summit

  • VOA News

US President George Bush is traveling to Japan for a summit of leaders from the world's eight leading industrialized nations, known as the Group of Eight.

Mr. Bush said earlier in the week that the three-day summit will address critical world issues, including energy supplies and food shortages. The summit begins Monday.

The White House said Saturday that the G8 leaders are likely to strongly condemn Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe and to question the legitimacy of his government, following a run-off election in which Mr. Mugabe was the only candidate.

Speaking aboard Air Force One, a White House official (David Wilder) said Mr. Bush also will discuss with Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda the status of the six-party talks with North Korea, which the official said are at a very pivotal point.

He said the two leaders will discuss the next steps in the talks, including how to verify North Korea's declaration of its nuclear program.

The Japanese are pushing the issue of climate change to the top of the agenda of the summit, as environmentalists urge the international community to set limits for greenhouse gas emissions.

At last year's G-8 meeting, President Bush blocked imposition of binding limits on emissions because they did not apply to other big polluters, including China and India.

The US president is scheduled to hold meetings with the Japanese prime minister as well as leaders of Germany, China, South Korea, Russia and India.

Mr. Bush says he will urge other the G-8 nations (Japan, Russia, Britain, France, Germany, Canada and Italy) to uphold previous pledges to deliver health aid to countries in Africa.

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