Japan's Abe to carry on Middle East tour as scheduled
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe appears to have decided to go ahead with his three-nation Middle East tour as planned, local media reported Thursday.
According to government officials, there will be no change in the schedule for Abe's upcoming visits unless there is a sudden change in the situation. The PM will visit Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Oman starting on Saturday.
Some government officials suggested earlier that the trip should be postponed amid the recent tension between the United States and Iran. However, Abe has decided to go on with the schedule after U.S. President Donald Trump's press conference on the matter.
Abe will try to show Japan's stance of making diplomatic efforts in helping stabilize the region to the leaders of the three nations in his upcoming visits, according to local media reports.
He also intends to explain his government's plan to send Self-Defense Forces personnel and hardware to the region and seek their understanding.