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Bush, Fukuda to attend Beijing Olympics
Updated: 2008-07-06 19:18

US President George W. Bush holds a joint news availability with the Prime Minister of Japan Yasuo Fukuda at the G8 Summit at The Windsor Hotel Toya Resort and Spa in Toyako, Japan July 6, 2008. [Agencies]

TOYAKO, Japan -- Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda officially announced here Sunday that he would attend the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics.

Fukuda made the announcement at a joint news conference in the northern Japanese resort of Toyako with US President George W. Bush.

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Fukuda said that he kept his decision up to now because he had to work out his schedule since there would be an important domestic event the day after the opening ceremony. But now he found it possible to attend both events.

"There is no need to involve politics. Even if China has various problems, they are in the midst of making efforts to improve them, " he added.

Bush also reiterated at the press conference that he would be present at the Beijing Olympics opening ceremony.

"I view the Olympics as an opportunity for me to cheer on the athletes," he said.

"Not going to the opening ceremony for the games would be an affront to the Chinese people," he said.

Fukuda and Bush are here to attend the three-day Group of Eight (G8) summit that will begin Monday. Before the press conference, the two leaders held bilateral talks that touched on a wide range of issues.

When asked whether the US will take action to strengthen  the dollar, Bush said the American economy was not growing as robustly as he would like and that his administration supported a strong US dollar policy.

"In terms of the dollar, the United States believes in a strong dollar policy and believes the strength of our economy will be reflected in the dollar.

On the nuclear issue of Korean peninsular, Bush said that it is a positive step for DPRK to destroy the cooling tower of its nuclear reactor, and that the country should do more to end its nuclear program.

He said that the United States will make sure that the issue of the alleged Pyongyang's abductions of Japanese citizens in the 1970s and 1980s will not be ignored, noting that the US will not abandon Japan on the issue.

The two leaders also pledged to enhance cooperation on the issue of climate change.
Fukuda said that the G8 members have not reached consensus on the issue, but their views are converging. Bush said that the US will play a "constructive" role in curbing carbon emissions blamed for climate change.