• Kyodo

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Foreign Minister Taro Kono is arranging trips to the Middle East, Europe and the United States next month that would see him circumnavigate the globe, according to government sources.

He is expected to use the schedule to represent Japan at international meetings and secure Japan’s oil procurement from the Middle East, the sources said Monday.

According to the sources, Kono will attend a meeting from Dec. 8 to 10 on security in the Middle East to be held in Bahrain.

He also plans to visit the United Arab Emirates to seek the renewal of oil field contracts set to expire next year.

On Dec. 12, Kono will take part in a summit on climate change in Paris on behalf of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the sources said.

In Britain, he plans to join Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera for a “two-plus-two” ministerial security dialogue with their counterparts in London on Dec. 14.

Then in New York, Kono plans to chair a ministerial meeting of the U.N. Security Council on North Korea’s nuclear and missile development program. Japan will hold the Security Council presidency next month.

After returning from New York, Kono plans to visit the Middle East again later in December to promote dialogue between Israel and Palestine, the sources said.

He may also visit Iran to directly appeal for a thaw in that country’s relations with Saudi Arabia.

Kono has taken several overseas trips since his appointment as foreign minister in August. He returned to Japan from Russia on Sunday.

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