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Japanese PM leaves for Myanmar on ties

Xinhua | Updated: 2013-05-24 16:15

TOKYO - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Friday left for Myanmar in an effort to promote bilateral ties and improve Japan's economic cooperation with the Southeast Asian country.

During the three-day visit, the first trip made by a Japanese prime minister to Myanmar in 36 years, Abe is expected to hold talks with Myanmar President Thein Sein and other senior officials.

"Japan will cooperate in Myanmar's reform with both public and private sector assistance," Abe said before his departure, quoted by local media.

Japan is expected to waive an additional 200 billion yen ($about 2 billion) in debt owed by Myanmar and announce official development assistance worth about $1 billion, according to local media.

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