Japan's Shinzo Abe to visit Iran next week, officials say

It will be the first visit by a Japanese prime minister in more than four decades

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe answers questions to reporters at the prime minister's office in Tokyo on May 28, 2019. AFP
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe answers questions to reporters at the prime minister's office in Tokyo on May 28, 2019. AFP

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is to travel to Iran next week for the first visit to the country by a Japanese leader for almost four decades.

A government official told AFP that Tokyo was "still arranging details, including whom our prime minister will meet there" but local media has said Abe will hold talks with Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and President Hassan Rouhani.

Semi-official Iranian news agency IRNA also confirmed the visit. It said that Mr Abe is scheduled to meet with Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and President Hassan Rouhani.

Local news agency Kyodo reported it would be the first such visit for 41 years.

As tensions intensify between Iran and Japan's key ally the United States, Mr Abe has reportedly proposed serving as a go-between by directly holding talks with Iran's key leaders.

During his state visit to Tokyo in late May, US President Donald Trump said he remained open to talks with Tehran, appearing to give the green light to Mr Abe's plan.

Published: June 6, 2019 10:30 AM

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