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Japan PM Abe wants to confirm further cooperation with Australia

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Monday he wants to confirm further cooperation on defense and the economy with Australian premier Tony Abbott, who is visiting Tokyo. Japanese media reported that Abe and Abbott will announce the basic bilateral agreement later in the day, featuring cuts to Tokyo's tariffs on Australian beef and Canberra ending its duty on cars.

Japan to enhance cooperation with U.S. during Obama visit: Abe

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Monday Japan and the United States will deepen bilateral cooperation in security and other areas when President Barack Obama visits Tokyo later this month. The two leaders "will stress the roles of the Japan-U.S. alliance to contribute to peace and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region," Abe told a meeting of the government and ruling parties. "We will confirm the strong Japan-U.S. alliance and work out further concrete cooperation," he added.

Australian prime minister in Japan, hoping to reach trade deal in summit with Abe

TOKYO - Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott is leading a business mission of some 600 people to Tokyo, hoping to reach a free trade agreement during a summit with his Japanese counterpart, Shinzo Abe. Abbott meets Abe later Monday after an official welcoming ceremony and meetings with Japan's agriculture and trade ministers. Japan is Australia's second-biggest trading partner after China and a major customer for its beef and other farm goods.

Japan poised to show robust alliance through Obama visit: Kishida

Japan wants to make U.S. President Barack Obama's upcoming visit to the country an opportunity to show the robust Japan-U.S. alliance to the world, Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida said Sunday. In a meeting with U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel in Tokyo, Kishida said he is looking forward to Obama's trip to Japan, according to a Foreign Ministry official. On Friday, the government said it will invite Obama to Japan on April 24 and 25 as a state guest. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe plans to hold a summit with Obama on April 24.

Australian PM hopes for 'swift, satisfactory' end to Japan trade talks

TOKYO (Reuters) - Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said on Sunday that he hoped for a quick conclusion to thorny free trade negotiations with Japan but suggested time might be needed to ensure conclusion of a "satisfactory" pact. Ministers from both nations took part in a five-hour session on Saturday that ended well into the evening without agreement on several substantial issues, Australian Trade Minister Andrew Robb said. He termed the talks exhausting, but said progress had been made.

Japan, U.S. defense chiefs meet in Tokyo as N. Korea eyed

Japan's Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera and U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel met Sunday in Tokyo for talks aimed at strengthening bilateral cooperation amid mounting concern about missile launches by North Korea. Onodera and Hagel were likely to have agreed to step up work toward revising U.S.-Japan defense cooperation guidelines for the first time in 17 years, and discuss a variety of issues, ranging from Japan's potential exercising of the right to collective self-defense and the recent easing of its arms embargo, Japanese officials said.

Robust Japan-U.S. alliance remains unchanged: Abe tells Hagel

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said at the start of talks Saturday with U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel that he will send a strong message that the robust Japan-U.S. alliance remains unchanged. Abe and Hagel held talks in Tokyo amid growing security challenges in East Asia, including China's military assertiveness and North Korea's nuclear and missile development programs.

Abe, Hagel meet to reaffirm solid security alliance

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe met Saturday with U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel where they are likely to reaffirm close cooperation between Japan and the United States to address security challenges in East Asia such as North Korea's ballistic missiles. During the meeting in Tokyo, Abe and Hagel are also expected to exchange views on the Japanese government's plan to alter the interpretation of the pacifist Constitution so that Tokyo will be allowed to exercise collective self-defense.

Japan, U.S. trade chiefs arranging to meet over TPP next week

Akira Amari, Japan's minister in charge of the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade talks, said Friday he may meet with U.S. trade representative Michael Froman if the two countries can make progress on settling their differences over tariff issues during working-level negotiations next week. While Amari did not elaborate, government sources said the meeting may take place in the middle of next week following the working-level talks in Tokyo from Monday aimed at breaking an impasse over the TPP talks.

Abe, Obama to hold summit April 24 in Tokyo

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and U.S. President Barack Obama plan to hold a meeting April 24 in Tokyo where they are expected to reaffirm the robust Japan-U.S. alliance, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said Friday. Japan will invite Obama on April 24 and 25 as a state guest, though the exact date of his arrival is not immediately known, Suga said at a news conference, indicating Obama may arrive in Japan on April 23.
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