Japan premier to visit three South-East Asian nations next week
Tokyo - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe plans to visit three South-East Asian countries next week on his first overseas trip after taking office in December, the government said Thursday.
Abe is to leave Wednesday for his four-day trip to Vietnam, Thailand and Indonesia "to deepen strategic cooperative ties," Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said.
Abe was expected to attend a ceremony in Jakarta on January 18 to mark the 40th anniversary of Japan’s ties with the 10-member Association of South-East Asian Nations (Asean). The three countries that the premier is visiting are Asean members.
The premier had initially planned to visit Washington and hold talks with President Barack Obama in late January on the first overseas trip of his term, but government officials said that trip was likely to be delayed until February because of a tight schedule on the US side.
Abe South-East Asian trip was taking place amid Japan’s strained ties with China over a group of disputed islands.//DPA