Abe May Visit Saudi Arabia, Uae Next Month

Abe may visit Saudi Arabia, UAE next month

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe may visit Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates as early as next month to seek understanding of his government's plan to send a Self-Defense Force aircraft and vessel to the Middle East.

The Japanese government is considering the dispatch to gather more information to ensure that commercial ships with ties to Japan can safely navigate waters in the region.

During his expected trip, Abe would explain that the planned dispatch would be independent of a US-led coalition formed for similar purposes.

He would also explain that Japan would continue diplomatic efforts to ease tensions in the region, relying on its close ties with the United States and Iran.

Earlier this week, Abe outlined the proposed dispatch in his meeting with an Iranian deputy foreign minister.

The prime minister will also explain the plan to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in a meeting that could take place this month in Japan.