Abe mulls summer tour of Americas

Kyodo

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is considering visiting Brazil, Chile, Mexico, Colombia, and Trinidad and Tobago between late July and early August, primarily to help secure support for Japan’s bid next year to win a nonpermanent seat on the U.N. Security Council, a government source said.

The source had said earlier that the roughly 10-day five-nation tour would involve Peru instead of Colombia.

Abe wants one of the 10 seats for nonpermanent members on the 15-member Security Council to advance his diplomatic initiative, which envisions a greater overseas role for the country.

Latin America is one of the regions with relatively little Chinese influence, according to a senior Foreign Ministry official. Abe would seek to confirm with his Latin American counterparts plans to promote cooperation in a range of areas such as the economy and energy, the source said.

Abe would use his likely visit to Chile, one of the 11 countries with which Japan is negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership, to try to agree on expanding cooperation in advancing the negotiations.

A visit to Brazil is being planned with China in mind, because Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff has invited Chinese President Xi Jinping to the World Cup final match in Rio de Janeiro on July 13, the source said.