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Japan promises support for Egypt's democratization

A senior Japanese official in charge of Middle Eastern affairs has urged Egypt to democratize and vowed to help with the process.

Japanese government envoy Yutaka Iimura met with Nabil Fahmy, the foreign minister of Egypt's interim government, in Cairo on Wednesday.

Iimura conveyed Japan's concern about the crackdown in Egypt on anti-government activities and restrictions on freedom of speech since the military effectively launched a coup to oust the previous government last July.

Egypt is due to hold a presidential election next month.

Imura said Japan will work with Egypt to help achieve political stability, democracy and social and economic development.

He said this will also benefit the international community.

Fahmy said Egypt needs help from Japan and other countries to rebuild.

Iimura later said he believes Japanese businesses and tourists will return to Egypt as it regains stability.

Apr. 17, 2014 - Updated 01:43 UTC