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Abe plans July visit to France as Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono requests reciprocal trip by Macron

Kyodo

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe plans to visit France in July, Foreign Minister Taro Kono told his French counterpart, Jean-Yves Le Drian, on Sunday.

During talks in Toronto on the sidelines of a Group of Seven foreign ministers’ meeting, Kono also requested that French President Emmanuel Macron visit Japan at an early date, the Japanese Foreign Ministry said.

Kono was quoted by the ministry as telling Le Drian that Abe plans to attend the opening ceremony of Japonismes 2018, a series of Japanese cultural events in Paris that will start in July.

During the visit, Abe is also expected to attend the annual Bastille Day military parade on July 14.

This year marks the 160th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

Kono and Le Drian affirmed they would closely coordinate policy on North Korea ahead of the summit planned between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to discuss the permanent denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

The ministers also agreed to step up cooperation in ensuring maritime security as part of efforts of achieve a free and open Indo-Pacific region based on the rule of law.

France’s overseas territories include Pacific islands such as New Caledonia and French Polynesia.