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Japan hopes to improve its relations with USSR

Foreign Minister Shintaro Abe Wednesday vowed to improve Japanese relations with the Soviet Union and said he will consult with Western European nations about easing sanctions imposed on the Soviets after the 1979 invasion of Afghanistan.

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The Japanese sanctions, taken in conjunction with Western European nations, included suspension of new credits to finance development projects in Siberia and some restrictions on other commercial and cultural exchanges.

Mr. Abe also said he will renew efforts to have Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko visit Japan. Response to Tokyo's invitation was favorable until the shooting down of a Korean Air Lines jetliner by a Soviet fighter over the Japan Sea Sept. 1.

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