Japan PM Abe mulls Canada visit ahead of U.N. assembly

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is eyeing a possible visit to Canada for talks with Prime Minister Stephen Harper on trade and energy issues, ahead of the U.N. General Assembly meeting he plans to attend in late September in New York, a government source said Monday.

Preliminary arrangements are being made for the trip where Abe could discuss with Harper greater collaboration for the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade talks, ahead of holding TPP negotiations with the United States and other countries seeking to remove tariffs on farm products, the source said.

Abe could confirm with Harper cooperation in retaining duties on dairy products and the beef and pork category, two of the five key areas Tokyo wants to guard, according to the source.

On energy, Abe and Harper could exchange views for a possible move for Canada to start supplying shale gas to Japan, the sources said. Earlier this year, Canada authorized projects to export the new form of natural gas from the country's western regions to Japan and other Asian countries.

Abe and Harper held talks on the sideline of the summit of the Group of Eight countries in Northern Ireland in June.