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China Rules Out Three-Way Meeting with Japan, South Korea

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China has ruled out holding a meeting with senior leaders from Japan and South Korea during an upcoming Asian economic meeting in Malaysia.

The three nations have met on the sidelines of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit for the past six years.

China's foreign ministry spokesman said the three-way meeting would not take place due to reasons he described as "known to all." That was an apparent reference to China's objections to Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's repeated visits to a controversial war shrine.

The Yasukuni shrine in Tokyo honors Japan's war dead, including those guilty of criminal acts during World War II.

Critics say the shrine glorifies Japan's wartime past, but Mr. Koizumi says he visits the shrine to pray for peace.

Some information for this report provided by AP and Reuters.

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