Abe To Outline Sdf Dispatch In Talks With Rouhani

Abe to outline SDF dispatch in talks with Rouhani

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe plans to explain the objectives of a planned Self-Defense Force dispatch to the Middle East in his meeting with Iran's President Hassan Rouhani.

Abe will meet Rouhani on Friday, the first day of the president's two-day visit to Japan.

Abe intends to use the meeting to seek Rouhani's understanding on the planned SDF dispatch to the Mideast.

The objectives include strengthening information gathering capabilities to help ensure the safety of Japan-related commercial shipping in the region.

Japan's government places great importance on ensuring the safety of ships navigating in the region as the country relies on the area for more than 80 percent of its crude oil imports.

Abe also plans to call on Iran to fulfill its responsibility for ensuring the safety of ships as one of the Mideast coastal countries.

His Cabinet is expected to approve a plan as early as next week to send an SDF destroyer and patrol plane to the Middle East.

Abe intends to outline Japan's stance of continuing to pursue diplomatic efforts to ease tensions in the Middle East and stabilize the situation there.

He plans to reiterate his appeal to Iran to refrain from reducing its commitments under the nuclear deal with world powers. Tehran has stepped up its uranium enriching activity.

Japan's Foreign Ministry says Iran requested the president's visit to Japan after Prime Minister Abe traveled to Tehran in June. It will be the first visit to Japan by an Iranian president since 2000.