German Chancellor Merkel to visit Japan next month

German Chancellor Angela Merkel will visit Japan early next month for the first time in seven years for a summit with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, an official said Friday.

Tokyo: German Chancellor Angela Merkel will visit Japan early next month for the first time in seven years for a summit with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, an official said Friday.

The planned visit comes after Abe visited Germany last year, and after Merkel visited Japan in 2008 to attend a Group of Eight summit.

"We are coordinating Chancellor Merkel`s visit to Japan in early March but details are yet to be decided," a foreign ministry official told AFP.

The visit comes as both countries prepare to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II, as Abe`s views on history continue to come under the international spotlight.

At a foreign ministers` meeting in Tokyo in January, Fumio Kishida told Frank-Walter Steinmeier "Japan and Germany should both announce positive messages to the world mentioning past contributions to the world`s peace, stability and prosperity".

Merkel is scheduled to give a speech to the public on March 9, an event hosted by the Asahi Shimbun.

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