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Japan’s Abe heading to Middle East to urge calm amid rising tensions

2020-01-11 09:46:59       source:Global Times

January 10, 2020 

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will visit the Middle East from Saturday, hoping to ease soaring regional tensions after the US killing of a top Iranian general.

The trip had been thrown into doubt after Tehran responded to the attack on Qasem Soleimani by launching a barrage of missiles at bases hosting American troops in Iraq, prompting fears of an all-out war.

But Japanese government spokesman Yoshihide Suga said Friday that the January 11-15 trip to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Oman would go ahead, with Abe also seeking to explain Tokyo's decision to deploy a military vessel and two patrol planes to the region to "ensure safety of Japan-related vessels."

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