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

    Video For Many US Veterans, the Vietnam War Continues

    More than 40 years after it ended, war in Vietnam and America’s role in it continue to provoke bitter debate, especially among those who fought in it

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    100 immigrants graduated Friday as US citizens in New York, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in cities across country

    Family's Fight Pays Off With Arlington Cemetery Burial Rights for WASPs

    Policy that allowed the Women Airforce Service Pilots veterans to receive burial rites at Arlington had been revoked in 2015

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora