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Japanese PM visits Louvre as he arrives in France

Published on May 5, 2014 1:49 AM

PARIS (AFP) - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe arrived in France Sunday on the latest leg of a six-nation European tour for trade and security talks at a time of mounting tensions with China.

Mr Abe arrived in the French capital on Sunday afternoon and immediately left for a private visit to the Louvre that included stops at the museum's best known works, including the Mona Lisa and Venus de Milo.

His visit kicks off in full gear on Monday with a meeting with French President Francois Hollande, with whom he will address a joint press conference, followed by a meeting with French businessmen at the Paris Chamber of Commerce.

Japanese diplomatic sources said while no major business deals were expected in Paris, talks with the French side would focus on a free-trade pact that Tokyo is trying to forge with the European Union that has been snagged by the thorny issue of tariffs and trade barriers.

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