JAPANESE COMMODORE KODA WANTS CLOSER TIES WITH FRENCH POLYNESIA

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PAPE‘ETE, French Polynesia (June 25, 2002 - Oceania Flash)---Japanese Commodore Yoji Koda, deputy commander of Japan's naval forces, has ended a three-day visit to French Polynesia, where he announced plans for more defense cooperation with the French Pacific, the daily newspaper La Dépêche de Tahiti reports.

During his visit to French Polynesia, Koda met with his French counterpart, Vice Admiral Amaury du Chéné, who commands the French Navy in the Pacific.

Among matters discussed were plans for more frequent courtesy calls from Japanese Navy vessels.

Vice Admiral du Chéné said other plans call for more frequent exchanges of naval officers and possibly joint military exercises.

The French commander said he would attend ceremonies marking the 50th anniversary of the Japanese Navy's return to operations following defeat in World War II.

The anniversary celebration will take place in Japan in October.

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