Making news

New Japanese PM mulls first overseas trip to Vietnam

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga is planning to visit Vietnam and Indonesia around mid-October in his first official overseas trip since taking office earlier this month, Kyodo News cited government sources as reporting on September 30.

If the trip goes ahead, the premier is expected to hold talks with Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Indonesian President Joko Widodo.

Suga will make a final decision on whether to travel after examining the coronavirus situation at home and in the two Southeast Asian countries, where the spread of infections has remained relatively stable compared with other countries such as the US, according to the sources.

The plan to visit the ASEAN member states comes as Japan seeks to strengthen ties with countries in the region amid growing tensions between its main security ally the US and its biggest trading partner China, over trade, security and other issues.

Vietnam and Indonesia were also the first overseas destinations for former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe after he assumed the premiership for the second time in December 2012. Abe pursued closer economic and security ties and Suga is expected to follow suit.

After becoming prime minister on September 16, Suga has held bilateral phone talks with leaders of countries including the US, the Republic of Korea, China and Russia./.