Abe Says Will Visit Germany, France, Italy From March 19

Abe says will visit Germany, France, Italy from March 19Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Wednesday he plans to visit Germany, France and Italy from March 19 for talks with the countries' leaders on ways to address security and other challenges facing them.

"I hope to frankly discuss with the leaders major issues facing the international community and to closely coordinate with them for global peace and prosperity," Abe told a meeting with the ruling parties.

Abe is set to brief German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Francois Hollande and Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni on his summit with U.S. President Donald Trump and discuss how to deal with the new U.S. administration, government sources said earlier.

While in Germany, Abe plans to attend a world-leading information technology trade fair in Hanover, according to the sources. Merkel invited Abe to the fair when they met last year.