Tokyo: Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is considering visiting India and Russia in late August to discuss strategic and economic cooperation, the Japanese daily Yomiuri Shimbun reported on 12 May.
Since taking office last September, the premier has visited China, South Korea, Vietnam, the Philippines as well as Europe, the United States and the Middle East.
Abe promised to visit India this year and proposed the creation of a strategic forum involving Japan, the United States, Australia and India when Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh came to Tokyo last December.
The premier hopes to discuss with Singh ways to strengthen cooperation in maintaining security on the basis of results from joint maritime drills staged by Japan, the United States and India in April off Japan’s Pacific coast in April, the daily quoted Japanese government sources as saying.
The drills were aimed at preventing proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. Abe is also expected to discuss with Singh Japanese assistance to India’s peaceful use of nuclear power and a possible free trade pact, the report said.
He also wants to use a visit to Russia for extensive talks with President Vladmir Putin on Russia’s occupation of southern Kuril islands since the closing days of World War II, the daily said. The island dispute has prevented the two countries from signing a post-war peace treaty.
As part of economic cooperation, Abe wants to discuss with Putin a pact committing both sides to nuclear non-proliferation as well as ways to promote private-sector cooperation in the area of nuclear energy, the report said.