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Japan PM to visit Africa, Mideast with cash pledge: Reports

Published on Jan 6, 2014 2:26 PM

TOKYO (AFP) - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will visit Africa and the Middle East this week, reports said on Monday, bearing development cash pledges as Tokyo pushes back against growing Chinese influence in the resource-rich region.

Mr Abe is expected to promise US$577 million (S$731 million) in loans to Mozambique when he stops in the capital Maputo as part of a tour that will also take in Ivory Coast, Ethiopia and Oman from Thursday.

The sub-Saharan trip, the first by a Japanese premier in eight years, will fulfil a pledge to visit Africa that Mr Abe made when he hosted a summit of the continent's countries last year.

It also comes as Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi leaves home on Monday for a tour of Ethiopia, Djibouti, Ghana and Senegal.

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