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September 28, 1987

Ex-Foreign Minister Shintaro Abe, considered a leading contender to succeed Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone in October, said Japan should cooperate more with the United States. "The very basis of Japan's external policy is to strengthen cooperative relations with the United States," Abe, 63, told reporters. He said Japan should also aim for an annual growth rate of 4%, largely through spending more at home rather than increasing exports. Abe's statement seemed specifically aimed at meeting Washington's major demand: that Japan do more to cut its trade surpluses and boost domestic consumption to help world growth.

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