Japan's PM Abe Considering Visiting Cuba Next Month

By Reuters
August 19,2016
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Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe speaks at a news conference at his official residence in Tokyo, Japan, August 3, 2016. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is considering visiting Cuba next month to strengthen ties and promote Japanese investments there, Kyodo news agency reported on Thursday, but the foreign ministry said no such plan was being made.

The trip, if confirmed, will coincide with Abe's planned attendance at the United Nations General Assembly meeting in New York, Kyodo said. It would be the first ever visit to Cuba by a Japanese prime minister. "There is no such fact. That is all I can say," an official at the foreign ministry's Latin American and Caribbean Affairs division said, referring to the Kyodo report.

Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida visited Cuba last year and met President Raul Castro. Kishida's trip followed a surprise announcement by Castro and U.S. President Barack Obama that the former adversaries would normalise ties.

(Reporting by Chang-Ran Kim and Kiyoshi Takenaka; Editing by Jacqueline Wong and Clarence Fernandez)