• Kyodo

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The prime ministers of Japan and Australia will hold a virtual leaders’ meeting on Thursday, the Australian side announced Wednesday.

Australia’s Scott Morrison said his meeting with Japan’s Shinzo Abe will be focused on their shared experiences in responding to the coronavirus pandemic, as well as deepening bilateral defense and security ties.

“The meeting presents a timely opportunity to reaffirm the shared principles, values and global outlook that reinforce one of Australia’s closest regional partnerships,” Morrison said in a statement.

“Prime Minister Abe and I will discuss … ways we can work together, with other regional partners, to help ensure an open, inclusive and prosperous Indo-Pacific.”

The meeting is said to lay the foundations for Morrison’s rescheduled visit to Japan to meet with Abe “as soon as circumstances allow.”

He was previously schedule to travel to Japan in January. However, the trip was postponed due to the bushfire crisis then affecting Australia’s southeast.

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