Japan PM Abe makes symbolic visit to Australia mining heartland
Published on Jul 9, 2014 3:23 PM
SYDNEY (AFP) - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited the resources-rich Pilbara region of Western Australia on Wednesday, in a recognition of the key role its minerals have played in his country's economic growth.
Mr Abe travelled with Prime Minister Tony Abbott to Rio Tinto's West Angelas mine, where he toured the site and observed the use of Japanese technology in state-of-the-art equipment.
Both Japan and China have competed for resources in the Asian region, with Australia benefiting from the energy-hungry countries as economic growth boosted demand.
Resource-poor Japan was one of Australia's first mining clients and remains a key buyer of its iron ore, the country's largest export, a point hammered home by both Mr Abbott and Rio chief Sam Walsh.
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