Bush to meet Japan's Fukuda on Friday

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WASHINGTON, Nov 12 (Reuters) US President George W Bush will hold talks with Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda on Friday on his first visit to Washington since taking office, the White House said today.

''Japan is one of America's closest friends and allies, and the president looks forward to a productive exchange on ways to further enhance our strong partnership,'' the White House said.

The meeting would be Bush's first with Fukuda since he came to office in September following the surprise resignation of his predecessor, Shinzo Abe.

The son of former Prime Minister Takeo Fukuda, he is viewed as a moderate conservative who takes a consensual approach to politics.

REUTERS SBA RAI0122

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