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INTERNATIONAL > U.S.

Abe likely to visit Iran next month

  • May 25, 2019
  • , All national papers
  • JMH Summary

All Saturday national papers reported that final coordination is underway for Prime Minister Abe to visit Iran in mid-June, perhaps from the 12th through 14th, saying that Japan is anxious to arbitrate the growing dispute between the U.S. and the Middle East nation by capitalizing on the strong ties that it maintains with the two antagonists. Noting that the premier held talks with National Security Advisor Bolton at the Kantei on Friday, the papers speculated that ahead of his summit with President Trump Abe informed Bolton of his planned trip. Yomiuri quoted a GOJ source as saying: “As the prime minister has built strong personal bonds with President Trump, he will probably be able to obtain U.S. understanding for the trip…. The premier will be President Trump’s emissary.” Sankei and Mainichi predicted that Abe will make a final decision on whether or not to go to Iran depending on President Trump’s reaction. If realized, it would be the first trip to Tehran by a Japanese leader in 41 years.

 

The dailies speculated that both Washington and Tehran have high expectations for Tokyo’s plan to play the role of broker as both sides probably do not want to go to war. They also wrote that President Trump regards war with Iran as undesirable in the run-up to his reelection bid in 2020, while Iran is wishing to defuse tensions quickly to rebuild its economy, which is being squeezed severely by U.S. sanctions.

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