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Abe, Harper to delve into free trade, energy, defense

Kyodo

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper were expected to confirm cooperation in free trade, defense and energy during talks to be held later Tuesday in Ottawa.

Abe and Harper were to focus on trade liberalization within bilateral and multilateral frameworks, as both countries have joined the negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, officials said.

Energy is another major issue for resource-poor Japan, especially since the Fukushima nuclear disaster has led to the shutdown of atomic power.

Abe is hoping to ensure imports of low-priced shale gas from Canada that would help lower soaring fuel costs, after the United States in May became the first country to authorize such exports to Japan.

On defense, they will reach an acquisition and cross-serving agreement to boost logistics support between the Self-Defense Forces and Canadian military, the officials said.