May 24, 2019
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Abe to visit Europe, Canada, US ahead of G20 summit

 The Heads of State and Government of the G20 countries, including (first row L-R): British Prime Minister Theresa May, French president Emmanuel Macron, Us President Donald J. Trump, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Argentinian President Mauricio Macri pose for the family photography of the G20 Summit, at the Costa Salguero convention center, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Nov. 30, 2018. EPA-EFE/FILE/BALLESTEROS

The Heads of State and Government of the G20 countries, including (first row L-R): British Prime Minister Theresa May, French president Emmanuel Macron, Us President Donald J. Trump, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Argentinian President Mauricio Macri pose for the family photography of the G20 Summit, at the Costa Salguero convention center, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Nov. 30, 2018. EPA-EFE/FILE/BALLESTEROS

Tokyo, Apr 21 (efe-epa).- The prime minister of Japan is set to begin a tour of a number of European countries, the United States and Canada, mainly as preparation for the upcoming G20 summit, to be held in Japan's Osaka in June, the Japanese government said on Sunday.

The government said Shinzo Abe will begin his tour, that concludes on Apr. 29, on Monday and will visit France, Italy, Belgium and Slovakia during the first part of the trip.

Abe's agenda in Europe includes meetings with French President Emmanuel Macron as well as President of the European Council Donald Tusk and President of the European Commission Jean Claude-Juncker.

He will discuss the recent implementation of the free trade agreement between Japan and the European Union apart from the economic, environmental and personal data protection issues, which will be part of the agenda at the G20 summit in Osaka on Jun. 28 and 29.

The prime minister had announced the visit earlier this month and said it was aimed at fostering close cooperation to make the G20 summit a success.

After his stops in Europe, Abe will visit the US between Apr. 26 and 28, before concluding the tour in Canada on Apr. 29.

He is set to meet US President Donald Trump on Apr. 26 and 27 and discuss topics such as the dialogue for the denuclearization of North Korea and starting negotiations for a bilateral trade deal.

"The meeting between President Trump and Prime Minister Abe will reaffirm the United States-Japan alliance as the cornerstone of peace, stability, and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region and around the world," the White House had said in a press release on Friday.

The meeting also serves as a precursor to Trump's upcoming state visit to Japan scheduled for end of May, when the US President will hold another summit with Abe and meet the next emperor of Japan, Naruhito, who is set to ascend the throne beginning of next month.

ahg/ia/nb

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