Only a week after the three-day Japan visit of U.S. President Barack Obama, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is set to leave for the West. The nine-day travel of Abe will bring him across Europe to the countries of Britain, Portugal, Spain, France, Germany and Belgium. But don’t expect it to be for pleasure, as the premier is set to discuss halted trade talks and security measures with these nations.
Japan is determined to close a trade deal with these European countries in light of failed negotiations with the United States for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) pact. Japan and members of the European Union (EU) began discussing trade last year and they hope to conclude soon. Should the talks be successful, the agreement will make up 40 percent of trade all over the world, boosting both economies.
Another agenda on Abe’s visit is security. With an ever-growing threat from neighbors China and North Korea, Japan hopes to gain new knowledge on cyber-defense and security in his meetings. On the other hand, Europe could take advantage of Japan’s lifting of its self-imposed embargo on arms export. Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida will join Abe on the trip that will last until May 7. Abe is set to meet with business leaders in France and also with NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen and head of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Angel Gurria.
[via Yahoo News]