Australia PM to visit Japan for relief talks
Tokyo: Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard is to visit Japan later this month, the Foreign Ministry in Tokyo announced, with talks expected to focus on disaster relief, local media said.
The trip, which will last for four days from April 20, comes as Japan struggles to recover from the devastating effects of a quake-tsunami that killed more than 12,500 people, with around 15,000 still listed as missing.
Japan`s Foreign Ministry said on Friday that Gillard, who will be accompanied by her partner, Tim Mathieson, will meet the emperor and hold talks with her Japanese counterpart, Naoto Kan.
Jiji Press said the two Premiers will discuss "relief measures for those affected by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami that devastated northeastern Japan".
Kan and Gillard will also discuss an economic partnership agreement, the agency added.
Japan is Canberra`s second-largest trade partner after China and the disaster is thought to have cost the Australian economy around USD 2 billion.
Australia sent search and rescue teams to Japan in the aftermath of the quake-tsunami, along with donations of aid and supplies.
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