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Obama to meet with Japan's Abe in Russia

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JOSH LEDERMAN | September 4, 2013 06:33 AM EST | AP

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STOCKHOLM — The White House says President Barack Obama will meet with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (shin-zoh ah-bay) this week in Russia.

The two leaders plan to meet Thursday on the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit in St. Petersburg.

The meeting comes as the U.S. is pressing Japan to open its markets to imports – especially autos, which have been one of the thorniest issues in U.S.-Japan trade relations. Earlier this year, the U.S. approved Japan's entry into talks on a major trade pact being negotiated between the U.S. and Asia-Pacific nations.

Obama and Abe also share deep concerns about North Korea's nuclear program.

While in St. Petersburg, Obama will also meet Friday with Chinese President Xi Jinping (shee jihn-peeng) and French President Francois Hollande (frahn-SWAH' oh-LAWND').