Australian PM starts her 10-day overseas trip

13:38, April 20, 2011      

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Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard on Wednesday left Australia for a 10-day overseas trip to Japan, South Korea, China and the United Kingdom.

Gillard and partner Tim Mathieson boarded their VIP flight and departed Canberra's Fairbairn Airport just before 10am (AEST) on Wednesday.

The prime minister is being accompanied by Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) secretary Dennis Richardson. The party will arrive in Tokyo of Japan on Wednesday evening.

In Japan, Gillard will meet with Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko, Prime Minister Naoto Kan and other senior officials. She will also tour areas hit by last month's earthquake and tsunami.

Gillard will then visit Seoul of South Korea, before heading Beijing for her first visit to China as prime minister.

Trade and other economic links are expected to dominate much of the north Asian meetings.

The last leg of the journey will be to London of United Kingdom, where Gillard and Mathieson will attend the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton on April 29.

Source: Xinhua
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