Abe stresses importance of TPP during Australia visit

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Saturday underlined the importance of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) during his trip to Australia to discuss trade, security and the election of Donald Trump as the US President.

"We have taken a leading role in the region to ensure investment in free trade," Abe said while attending a business meeting in Sydney with New South Wales Premier Mike Baird and Australian Trade Minister Steve Ciobo.

Abe remarked that Japan and Australia have acted as leading participants in the TPP, while Ciobo stressed that the pact holds significant benefit for the 12 countries that have signed it.

Australia and Japan have been championing the implementation of the controversial TPP - that will need to be ratified by the legislatures of 12 nations that have signed it - although US President-elect Donald Trump has promised to pull out from the agreement, Efe news reported.

Abe's schedule included a meeting Saturday with his Australian counterpart Malcolm Turnbull on strengthening trade ties, and matters related to regional security.

Australia is the second stop, after the Philippines, on Abe's four-nation tour that also includes Indonesia and Vietnam.