|This Dec 18, 2015 photo shows Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull (R) being welcomed by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (L) before their meeting at the state guest house in Tokyo. (Franck Robichon / Pool / AFP)|
SYDNEY — Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and a business delegation will visit Australia on Saturday amid unease over future US presence in Asia.
Australia's Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull will meet Abe on Saturday for a "working meeting".
We are committed to advancing our economic, investment and trade relationship, our defense and security cooperation, and our common commitment to a secure and prosperous regionMalcolm Turnbull, Prime Minister, Australia
"We are committed to advancing our economic, investment and trade relationship, our defense and security cooperation, and our common commitment to a secure and prosperous region," Turnbull said in a statement on Wednesday.
The visit is the first for Abe after ties between the two countries soured as Turnbull's government chose French company DCNS for its lucrative submarine contract, reneging on former Prime Minister Tony Abbott's informal agreement.
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It is the first opportunity for two key regional US allies to discuss what Trump's election means for US foreign policy and also to what extent Australia and Japan will be required to do more "heavy lifting on a more inward looking US," University of Sydney professor of Australian political culture and foreign policy James Curran told Xinhua.
"There's been all sorts of talk on the need for allies like Australia, Japan and India to get together to do more given we simply don't know what Trump's focus is going to be in the region, " said the professor.
Abe will arrive in Australia after visiting the Philippines. He is expected to meet President Rodrigo Duterte at his home in Davao City on Friday.