National / Politics

Merkel might visit Japan in February


German Chancellor Angela Merkel is considering visiting Japan from Feb. 4 to 5 to hold talks with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, informed sources said.

The two leaders will likely agree to strengthen bilateral cooperation to promote free trade ahead of the summit of the Group of 20 advanced and emerging economies in Osaka in June, at a time when protectionist moves are increasing in the United States and other countries, the sources said Friday.

Officials of German businesses are expected to accompany Merkel on her Japan visit, according to the sources.

Merkel has visited Japan as German chancellor four times. During her latest visit, in May 2016, she attended the summit of the Group of Seven major industrial countries in Mie Prefecture.