Abe Leaves on 3-Nation Tour for Series of Summits


Tokyo, Nov. 14 (Jiji Press)--Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Wednesday kicked off a five-day tour of Singapore, Australia and Papua New Guinea to attend a series of multilateral and bilateral summit talks.

"I hope to lead discussions by underlining Japan's positions on issues related to North Korea and how to realize a free and open Indo-Pacific region and reinforce the (global) economic order based on free and fair rules," Abe told reporters at Tokyo International Airport at Haneda just before his departure.

On a planned summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Abe said, "I'm determined to advance negotiations on the issue of a bilateral peace treaty through in-depth dialogue with the determination that President Putin and I will resolve the matter without fail."

After arriving in Singapore on Wednesday afternoon, Abe will meet with Putin on the day for discussions on the decades-old bilateral territorial row over four Russian-controlled northwestern Pacific islands claimed by Japan.

The islands, known as the Northern Territories in Japan, were seized by the former Soviet Union at the end of World War II. The territorial issue has prevented Tokyo and Moscow from concluding a peace treaty to formally end their wartime hostilities.

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Jiji Press