Subject: KY: Japan congratulates East Timor on peaceful elections, new president

Also Roh's special envoy to visit East Timor, Vietnam

Supplied by BBC Worldwide Monitoring

May 16, 2007 Wednesday

Japan congratulates East Timor on peaceful elections, new president

Text of report in English by Japanese news agency Kyodo

Tokyo, May 16 Kyodo - Japan welcomed on Wednesday the election of Nobel Peace Prize winner Jose Ramos-Horta as East Timor's new president through the democratic process.

"Our country welcomes the East Timor government's efforts to be chiefly responsible for the first time in conducting the presidential election peacefully," Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuhisa Shiozaki said at a news conference, after final results showed Ramos-Horta as winner of the presidential runoff.

Japan will continue to do what it can to help East Timor in various ways including aiding it to become self-reliant, said Shiozaki, Japan's top government spokesman.

Foreign Minister Taro Aso, meanwhile, issued a statement saying he "strongly hopes that the government, parliament and people will stand united to work together for East Timor's nation-building."

The presidential election was the first in East Timor since the country gained independence from Indonesia in 2002 with UN assistance.

Roh's special envoy to visit East Timor, Vietnam

SEOUL, May 16 (Yonhap) -- Jeon Yun-churl, chairman of the Board of Audit and Inspection, will visit East Timor and Vietnam on May 17-27 in his capacity as a special presidential envoy, the agency said Wednesday.

In East Timor, Jeon will attend the inauguration ceremony of the country's new president, Jose Ramos Horta, and deliver a personal letter from South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun expressing his wish to further improve bilateral relations, said the agency.

Horta, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1996 and currently serves as his country's prime minister, was elected president in a landslide victory. He will take office on May 20, the fifth anniversary of independence for the former Portuguese and Indonesian territory.

On his way back home, Jeon will visit Vietnam, starting on May 21, for meetings with Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and other Vietnamese government officials. In those meetings, he will ask for Hanoi to support the South Korean port of Yeosu's bid for the 2012 World Expo and deliver Roh's wish to further enhance bilateral relations, it said.

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