Sat, 31 May 2003

Megawati to visit Japan in June

TOKYO: President Megawati Soekarnoputri will make a state visit to Japan from June 22 through June 25, the Japanese foreign ministry said on Friday.

She will meet with Japanese Emperor Akihito, Empress Michiko and Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, the ministry said.

The visit will strengthen the friendly ties between the two nations, the ministry said.

The visit was announced less than two weeks after Indonesia and Aceh separatists met in Tokyo for two-day peace talks, which failed to salvage a peace deal brokered by the Henry Dunant Centre (HDC) in December.

Only hours after the talks collapsed, Megawati signed a decree authorizing a military operation and imposed martial law in Aceh province.

UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan said on Thursday he was "deeply concerned" about what impact the renewed hostilities in Aceh would have on the civilian population there. -- AFP