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Defying media speculation and with tensions still high in the Middle East, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will visit Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Oman on a five-day trip starting Saturday as originally scheduled, government officials announced Friday.

The announcement came despite Wednesday media reports, including a report in The Japan Times, that quoted government sources as saying Abe would cancel the trip in the wake of the U.S. assassination of top Iranian commander Gen. Qassem Soleimani and ensuing missile attacks by Iran on two bases in Iraq hosting U.S. troops.

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