News / Asia

Japan's Abe Focuses on Energy During Trip Overseas

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe speaks at a news conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow's Kremlin, April 29, 2013.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe speaks at a news conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow's Kremlin, April 29, 2013.
Analysts say securing energy deals will be a main focus of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's week-long economic diplomacy tour of Russia and the Middle East.

Accompanied by a delegation of more than 100 Japanese business leaders, Prime Minister Abe is in the middle of a trip that includes stops in Russia, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia.

Stops on Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's week-long economic diplomacy tour of Russia and the Middle East.Stops on Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's week-long economic diplomacy tour of Russia and the Middle East.
x
Stops on Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's week-long economic diplomacy tour of Russia and the Middle East.
Stops on Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's week-long economic diplomacy tour of Russia and the Middle East.
Securing cheaper energy imports is crucial for resource-starved Japan, which has struggled to recover from the loss of almost all of its nuclear energy in the wake of the 2011 disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant.

Masamichi Adachi, a senior economist at J.P. Morgan in Tokyo, said this will likely be the emphasis of Abe's stops in Saudi Arabia and the UAE, which are the biggest and second-biggest providers of crude oil to Japan, respectively.

"[Abe's trip] is all related to energy. Japan is now facing big headwinds from the accident at the nuclear power plants, and that means Japan needs to import more energy. Therefore, we want more cheap energy," said Adachi.

As Japan's dependence on energy imports has risen, so have prices, creating an even greater problem for Japan's economy and negatively affecting its trade deficit.

But Adachi said Japan may have leverage to negotiate prices with energy sellers, now that the relatively inexpensive U.S. shale gas is being sold abroad.

Japanese energy officials also hope to use the trip to restore domestic and international demand for Japan's nuclear power technology, which collapsed sharply after the 2011 disaster.

An association of Japanese and French businesses are reported to be among the finalists to secure a $22 billion deal with Turkey to build a nuclear power plant on the Black Sea coast.

Adachi said such a nuclear cooperation deal, which would be the first since the Fukushima incident, would go a long way in assuring Japanese citizens that it is safe to restore Japan's nuclear reactors.

"Japanese industries want to prove that Japanese nuclear technology is safe enough so that other foreign governments can accept it. Then that means that in our country, the Japanese people can also say our technology is fine," said Adachi.

Abe's trip also has diplomatic goals.

Russia's President Vladimir Putin (R) shakes hands with Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during a signing ceremony at the Kremlin in Moscow, April 29, 2013.Russia's President Vladimir Putin (R) shakes hands with Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during a signing ceremony at the Kremlin in Moscow, April 29, 2013.
x
Russia's President Vladimir Putin (R) shakes hands with Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during a signing ceremony at the Kremlin in Moscow, April 29, 2013.
Russia's President Vladimir Putin (R) shakes hands with Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during a signing ceremony at the Kremlin in Moscow, April 29, 2013.
On Monday, he became the first Japanese leader to visit Russia in a decade. After meeting in Moscow with President Vladimir Putin, the two leaders announced they were instructing diplomats to intensify efforts to work out a peace treaty.

The two countries did not sign a formal peace treaty at the end of World War II because of a dispute over four islands taken by advancing Soviet forces at the close of the war.

Abe is scheduled to meet with Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud on Tuesday. He will then meet with Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan on Wednesday. He meets with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday before heading home on Saturday.

You May Like

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends More

Researcher: Obesity Poses Complex Problem

Professor at Symposium on Obesity, Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome says problem involves more than calorie intake, warns of worldwide health impact More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thoughti
X
George Putic
May 26, 2015 9:26 PM
Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video US-led Coalition Gives Some Weapons to Iraqi Troops

In a video released Tuesday from the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, Iraqi forces and U.S.-led coalition troops survey a cache of weapons supplied to help Iraq liberate Mosul from Islamic State group. According to a statement provided with the video, the ministry and the U.S.-led coaltion troops have started ''supplying the 16th army division with medium and light weapons in preparation to liberate Mosul and nearby areas from Da'esh (Arabic acronym for Islamic State group).''
Video

Video Amnesty International: 'Overwhelming Evidence' of War Crimes in Ukraine

Human rights group Amnesty International says there is overwhelming evidence of ongoing war crimes in Ukraine, despite a tentative cease-fire with pro-Russian rebels. Researchers interviewed more than 30 prisoners from both sides of the conflict and all but one said they were tortured. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Washington Parade Honors Those Killed Serving in US Military

Every year, on the last Monday in the month of May, millions of Americans honor the memories of those killed while serving in the armed forces. Memorial Day is a tradition that dates back to the 19th Century. While many people celebrate the federal holiday with a barbecue and a day off from work, for those who’ve served in the military, it’s a special day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Arash Arabasadi reports for VOA from Washington.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.

VOA Blogs