Prime Minister Shinzo Abe left for Singapore on Friday morning to attend a three-day security summit for the Asia-Pacific region starting later in the day.
Abe is scheduled to deliver a keynote speech Friday night at the Asia Security Summit, widely called the Shangri-La Dialogue, to outline his vision for Japan's contribution to global peace.
Before his departure, Abe said he would like to "send a message in the speech" that Japan "will never condone an attempt to change the status quo by force," apparently referring to China's increasing assertiveness in Asia.
Abe will also meet with U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on Friday. At the meeting, Abe will likely brief Hagel about his aim to have Japan exercise its right to collective self-defense in light of the planned revision of guidelines on Japan-U.S. defense cooperation by the year-end.
On Saturday, Abe will meet with Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong to exchange views on Japan's growth strategy under his "Abenomics" economic policy, before taking a flight back home later in the day.