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Japan PM heads to Europe amid N Korea tensions

AFP  |  Tokyo 

Japan's today headed to the states and other European nations as he seeks to drum up support for his hawkish stance on

Despite a recent cooling of tensions in the run-up to the in South Korea, has insisted on "maximising pressure" on over its nuclear and missile programmes.

Abe will visit Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Bulgaria, and Romania, the first sitting Japanese leader to visit those nations.

"I want to confirm our cooperation on North Korean and other urgent issues the international community faces," he told reporters before he left.

Abe, who will meet the heads of the six states on his tour, also noted that representatives from more than 30 companies would accompany him to develop business ties.

is keen to raise its profile in the region as bolsters its ties there.

All six nations Abe is visiting are among the 16 Central and Eastern European countries that hold an annual summit meeting with

has been pushing its massive $1 trillion "One Belt, One Road" initiative, which seeks to build rail, maritime and road links from to and in a revival of ancient Silk Road trading routes.

Abe is due to return to on Wednesday.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, January 12 2018. 10:00 IST