Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (Source: AP)

Hanoi (VNA) – Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will visit the Philippines, Australia, Indonesia and Vietnam on a six-day trip from January 12 aimed at strengthening security cooperation with the Pacific Rim nations, according to the Japanese Kyodo News.

He will first meet and have talks with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on January 12. He is expected to underscore Japan's cooperation with the Philippines in economics, the fight against terrorism, and infrastructure building, among other issues.

Japan would also promise its support for the Philippines’s ASEAN chairmanship in 2017.

On January 14, Abe will meet Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull with the aim of affirming the need for strong security coordination and cooperation between Japan, Australia and the United States to maintain a rule-based international order.

On January 15, the Japanese PM will travel to Indonesia, where he is expected to confirm with Indonesian President Joko Widodo bilateral cooperation in maritime security and economic development.

He will conclude his tour after meeting with Vietnamese leaders to strengthen the bilateral relationship. The Japanese PM will return to Japan on January 17.

The Japanese PM’s Asia-Pacific tour also comes as uncertainties loom over the commitment of the incoming U.S. administration to the region following the inauguration of U.S. President-elect Donald Trump on January 20, who has announced he will shift to a protectionist trade policy.

During the trip, Abe is likely to highlight the importance of multilateral free trade pacts. Trade partners are now watching whether Trump will pull the United States out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade agreement.

On January 11, Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga announced that Japanese Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko plan to visit Vietnam in the spring of 2017.-VNA