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

Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unrest

Seen as a potential driver of recovery, Cairo’s plan to expand waterway had been raising hopes to give country much needed economic boost More

Ebola Maternity Ward in Sierra Leone First of its Kind

Country already had one of world's highest maternal mortality rates before Ebola arrived, virus has added even more complications to health care More

Malaysia Flight 370 Disappearance Ruled Accident

Aircraft disappeared on March 8, 2014; with ruling, families of 239 passengers and crew can now seek compensation from airline More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Groundbreaking Hand-Painted Documentary About Van Gogh in Productioni
X
George Putic
January 29, 2015 9:43 PM
The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Groundbreaking Hand-Painted Documentary About Van Gogh in Production

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Web

Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Freedom on Decline Worldwide, Report Says

The state of global freedom declined for the ninth consecutive year in 2014, according to global watchdog Freedom House's annual report released Wednesday. VOA's William Gallo has more.
Video

Video MRI Seems to Help Diagnose Prostate Cancer, Preliminary Study Shows

Just as with mammography used to detect breast cancer, there's a lot of controversy about tests used to diagnose prostate cancer. Fortunately, a new study shows doctors may now have a more reliable way to diagnose prostate cancer for high risk patients. More from VOA's Carol Pearson.
Video

Video Smartphones About to Make Leap, Carry Basic Senses

Long-distance communication contains mostly sounds and pictures - for now. But scientists in Britain say they are close to creating additions for our smartphones that will make it possible to send taste, smell and even a basic touch. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

In the mid-1980’s, thousands of Sudanese boys escaped the country's civil war by walking for weeks, then months and finally for more than a year, up to 1,500 kilometers across three countries. The so-called Lost Boys of the Sudan had little time for games. But one of them later mastered the game of chess, and now teaches it to children in the New York area. VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York has his story.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.
Video

Video Crowded Republican Presidential Field Off to Early Start for 2016

It seems early, but the 2016 U.S. presidential election campaign is already heating up. Though no one has officially announced a candidacy, several potential Republican contenders have been busy speaking to conservative groups about making a White House run next year. Many of the possible contenders are critical of the Obama administration’s foreign policy record. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone reports.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid