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Abe aims to overcome gaps with U.S. to conclude TPP talks

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Thursday Japan will address differences with the United States to successfully conclude multilateral talks for a Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade agreement. "We intend to overcome our mutual differences and together forge a sturdy economic order for Asia and the Pacific in the 21st century," Abe said in a speech delivered at a forum in Tokyo. "We wish to create an unshakable foundation for growth."

Pacifists to rally as poll shows Japan uneasy over military

Thousands of people are set to rally Tuesday against government plans to soften Japan's commitment to pacifism and give its military a more active role, as a poll showed opposition to the moves. Nobel Literature laureate Kenzaburo Oe will be among the speakers at the demonstration at a park in central Tokyo, organisers said. They estimated the event would attract several thousand attendees. The protest is taking place after a national opinion poll showed there was growing public opposition to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's push to bolster his nation's military.

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.

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.

Abe, U.N. assembly chief Ashe agree to push Security Council reform

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and U.N. General Assembly president John Ashe agreed Wednesday to push for reform of the Security Council as the international body marks its 70th anniversary in 2015. During talks at the prime minister's office, Abe expressed appreciation for Ashe's leadership in trying to reform the 15-member council. "Japan has always placed importance on U.N. diplomacy, and would like to work with the United Nations to contribute to global peace and prosperity," Abe said.

Abe hails Obama's efforts to address Ukraine crisis

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe expressed his appreciation to U.S. President Barack Obama on Monday for his efforts to defuse tensions over the crisis in Ukraine, the Japanese government said. Abe also agreed with some European leaders to cooperate in addressing problems stemming from Russia's annexation of Ukraine's southern Crimea region in defiance of international criticism.

Japan pledges up to 150 bil. yen in aid to Ukraine

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pledged Monday the country will provide an aid package worth up to 150 billion yen (about $1.5 billion) to help Ukraine out of its economic quagmire. Abe told reporters he revealed the plan to other leaders of Group of Seven major nations in a summit which convened in The Hague on the sidelines of the Nuclear Security Summit to discuss Russia's annexation of Crimea in southern Ukraine.

Abe tells Anne Frank House chief book vandalism was "regrettable"

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe described the vandalism in Tokyo of books related to Anne Frank as "regrettable" during a visit to a museum Sunday in Amsterdam that commemorates where the Jewish girl hid from the Nazis. Abe told Ronald Leopold, head of the Anne Frank House museum, and staff there that it is "very regrettable that copies of 'The Diary of a Young Girl' have been vandalized at libraries in Japan. I will make sure such a thing will never happen again."
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