Japanese PM Koizumi visits Abbas in Ramallah

Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi arrived in the West Bank city of Ramallah on Thursday and held talks with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. Koizumi, who on Wednesday met with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in Jerusalem, is pushing for restraint between the Palestinians and Israelis amid escalating violence over the capture of Israeli soldiers by Hizbullah and Hamas terrorists. Koizumi, the first Japanese prime minister to visit Israel in 11 years, was to travel to Jordan later Thursday and then to St. Petersburg, Russia, for the annual Group of Eight or G-8 summit of leading industrialized countries.