Security talks with Gulf trio eyed

JIJI

The government plans to launch bilateral security talks with Bahrain, Kuwait and Qatar to ensure stable supplies of crude oil and other fossil fuels, sources said.

Japan is expected to reach agreements with the three Persian Gulf nations when Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visits them as part of a Middle East tour starting Aug. 24, the sources said Thursday.

The government reached a similar agreement with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates when Abe visited the member nations of the Gulf Cooperation Council in April and May. The prospect for an agreement with Bahrain, Kuwait and Qatar would mean Japan holding security talks with all GCC members except Oman.

The security dialogue will cover a wide range of issues, including ways to secure sea lane safety, Iran’s nuclear development program and the Syrian civil war.

As part of his Middle East tour, Abe also plans to visit Djibouti and meet with Self-Defense Forces elements engaged in antipiracy missions off Somalia, the sources said.