Abe said he will visit Myanmar soon to help its economic development

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Friday he will visit Myanmar "soon" with the aim of helping the Southeast Asian nation's economic development.

"I will not hold back from any cooperation" for the development of Myanmar, which has overcome a great number of difficulties, Abe said in a speech on his government's growth strategy.

The Japanese government and the public sector will "work as one" to assist Myanmar, Abe said.

Abe is considering visiting Myanmar around May 25 to 26 to meet with President Thein Sein for their first summit, a government source said earlier.

It would be the first visit to the country by a Japanese prime minister in around 36 years. Prime Minister Takeo Fukuda traveled to the country in August 1977.

"Myanmar is a friend from long ago and a pro-Japanese country," Abe said.