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Mongolian Prime Minister Jargaltulga Erdenebat and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe agreed Friday during talks in Tokyo to accelerate ongoing efforts to draw up a 2017-21 action plan to strengthen bilateral ties.

Erdenebat chose Japan as the destination of his first diplomatic tour after he was appointed in early July, underlining his intention to place great importance on Mongolia’s ties with Japan.

During a news conference at the Prime Minister’s Office, Erdenebat thanked Abe for expressing his intention to provide “generous support” for middle to long-term development of the Mongolian economy.

On Thursday Japan and Mongolia held a forum in Tokyo to attract more trade and investment by Japanese firms to the landlocked central Asian nation.

During a joint conference after their meeting, Abe touted Mongolia as “a strategic partner” of Japan that shares basic values such as freedom, democracy and the rule of law.

Abe said the two leaders “had a very meaningful discussion” on the security threat posed by North Korea and agreed to “keep cooperating” on the matter.

Mongolia is one of the few countries that has relatively strong political ties with the hermit state.

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