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.
TEXT SIZE - +
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

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends More

Turkish Law Gives Spy Agency Controversial Powers

Parliament approves legislation to bolster powers of intelligence service, which government claims is necessary to modernize and deal with new threats Turkey faces More

Video Face of American Farmer Changing

Average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Face of American Farmer is Changingi
X
Mike Osborne
April 18, 2014
The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid