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Japanese PM to visit Myanmar for first time in 36 years


15:46, May 22, 2013

TOKYO, May 22 (Xinhua) -- Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will visit Myanmar from May 24 to 26 to boost bilateral economic ties, becoming the first prime minister to visit the Southeast Asian country in 36 years, Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said Wednesday.

During his visit, Abe, who will be accompanied by a group of Japanese business leaders, is expected to hold talks with Myanmar' s leaders and senior officials to discuss bilateral economic cooperation, said Suga.

Japan has improved its ties with Myanmar since Abe's cabinet was formed last December and Myanmar became the destination of the first overseas visit made by the cabinet member Taro Aso in January.

During Aso's visit, the Japanese deputy prime minister and financial minister reaffirmed Japan's intention to relieve the 500 billion yen (about 4.87 billion U.S. dollars) debt that Myanmar owes to it and provide 50 billion yen (about 487.5 million dollars) in developing an economic zone in Myanmar.

In April, Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi kicked off her first trip to Japan in 27 years and asked Japan to invest more in her country.

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