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OTHER NEWS

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Japan Lawmakers to Protest Opening Rice Market: Nearly 40 of the opposition lawmakers are planning a two-day hunger strike set to begin today to protest a reported agreement between Tokyo and Washington to ease Japan’s longstanding ban on imported rice. The legislators, all from the Liberal Democratic Party, have called the strike because of media reports that Japan has agreed to allow up to 8% of its rice to be imported, said Satoko Niimi, a secretary to one of the lawmakers. Agriculture Ministry officials have repeatedly denied such reports, which say Prime Minister Morihiro Hosokawa plans to announce a deal Dec. 10.


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