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Prime Minister Kishida to tour Middle East in late August

Nikkei reported that Prime Minister Kishida plans to visit Qatar and the UAE later this month following his planned attendance at the TICAD international conference in Tunisia on Aug. 27-28, explaining that the primary purpose of the trip is to secure energy supplies from the two partners in light of the soaring oil and LNG prices triggered by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The paper said the prime minister is aiming to rebuild Japan’s ties with Qatar, which has been a major supplier of LNG for Japan, after a Japanese company last year terminated a contract with the country for long-term supply on account of “uncertain prospects.” As China and Russia are anxious to expand their influence in the region, the paper quoted a source close to the Japanese leader as saying: “The prime minister must convince the Middle East nations not to side with Beijing and Moscow.”

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