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Asia

 

Japan PM Abe makes symbolic visit to Australia mining heartland

Published on Jul 9, 2014 3:23 PM
 
Australia's Prime Minister Tony Abbott (2nd left) and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe (2nd right) along with Rio Tinto CEO Sam Walsh (left) and Western Australia's Premier Colin Barnett (right) arrive for a tour of mining giant Rio Tinto's West Angelas iron ore mine in Pilbara, Western Australia on July 9, 2014. Mr Abe visited the resources-rich Pilbara region of Western Australia in recognition of the key role its minerals have played in his country's economic growth. -- PHOTO: AFP

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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