TOKYO, Jan. 9 (Xinhua) -- Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe left for the Netherlands and Britain Wednesday to hold talks with his counterparts there on issues of regional and global economy and trade.
The first leg of his trip will see the Japanese premier hold talks with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte in Rotterdam late Wednesday, with government officials here saying Abe is likely to discuss a range of issues including enhancing trade ties as the Japan-EU trade pact will come into effect in February.
Abe, who has said his visit is being made both in his capacity as Japan's leader as well as chair of the the Group of 20 summit, slated to be held in Osaka in June, is scheduled to meet British Prime Minister Theresa May in London on Thursday.
Abe is keen to ensure that Britain's planned exit from the European Union will not negatively impact Japanese firms based in Britain, as well as the wider global economy, and said he will make this clear to May during their talks.
"As Britain's exit from the European Union has drawn global attention, I will convey Japan's position to Prime Minister Theresa May and talk about the issue," Abe said, prior to his departure.
The two leaders are also likely to confirm their positive stances on promoting free trade, with Britain indicating its interest in joining the 11-member Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).
The Japanese leader will return on Friday and is scheduled to visit Russia and Switzerland later in the month, government officials said.