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Japan finance minister Aso to travel to Myanmar, meet president Thein Sein

Published on Dec 30, 2012 7:43 PM

TOKYO (REUTERS) - Japan's deputy prime minister, Taro Aso, travels to Myanmar this week for talks with President Thein Sein to boost relations with the rapidly transforming country and support Japanese business interests in the region.

Aso, who doubles as finance minister, meets Thein Sein and his opposite number Win Shein in the capital Naypyitaw on Thursday in the first high-profile overseas visit by a member of Tokyo's new cabinet since it took office last week.

Prior to his ministerial appointment, Aso had already planned to visit Myanmar as a lawmaker and a member of Japan-Myanmar Association, a group of politicians, businessmen and former diplomats set up to advance Japanese business interests in Myanmar.

Their sales - and sometimes their premises - badly damaged by a territorial spat between Tokyo and Beijing, Japanese firms have made an aggressive push back into Myanmar after Thein Sein, a former member of the military junta began overseeing reforms.

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