Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe Visits Djibouti On Tuesday.

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Hargeysa(BM)-President Ismail Omar Guelleh met with Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Tuesday (August 27th) for discussions on economic relations between Japan and Djibouti as well as the issues of security in Somalia and the fight against piracy in the region. Prime Minister Abe who is on a four-nation tour of the Middle East and Africa, visiting Bahrain, Djibouti, Kuwait and Qatar, visited the Japanese defense forces stationed in Djibouti and toured the Japanese military base there. Japan is part of the international fight against piracy, and is the largest contributor to the United Nations International Maritime Organization Coast Guard Training facility at Doraleh.

Djibouti is the only permanent base of Japan’s Self-Defense Forces outside Japan. The Prime Minister congratulated the Japanese troops for maintaining high morale and discipline, and reminded the soldiers of Japan’s duty in the international community, referring in particular to the fight against piracy. He said “It is vital for Japan to protect waters in the region. And it is essential for the international community to ensure peace, stability and prosperity.” Japan has two escort vessels and two P-3C patrol aircraft deployed in Djibouti, and since 2009 it has deployed several hundred officers from its naval forces and nearly two hundred from the air force at the base in Djibouti. Prime Minister Abe told President Ismail Omar Guelleh that Japan plans to provide patrol ships to help Djibouti’s coast guard improve maritime security.

It will send experts to Djibouti next month to carry out an assessment of needs. The Prime Minister also said Japan would provide support to Djibouti to develop geothermal power generation and secure stable electricity supplies. During his visit, the first by a Japanese Prime Minister to Djibouti, he also met with Djibouti’s Minister for International Co-operation, Ahmed Ali Silay, and visited Tokyo Place, a memorial for the victims of the 2011 tsunami in Japan.


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