Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has moved on to the second and third legs of his six-nation European and North American tour with stops in Italy and Slovakia, where he met with the leaders of those two countries and others on Wednesday.

In Rome, Abe and his Italian counterpart, Giuseppe Conte, agreed early in the day on the need for high quality infrastructure that can achieve both economic growth and fiscal sustainability, as Italy plans to promote projects under China's "Belt and Road" initiative.

The two leaders, also agreed during their summit that the two countries will strengthen defense cooperation under an accord that took effect earlier this month, enabling the sharing of defense equipment and technology.