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Abe seeks closer energy cooperation with Australia

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe hopes to deepen ties with resource-rich Australia to help Japan ensure stable energy supplies in the face of China's global energy diplomacy.

Abe is visiting Australia on the second leg of his tour of Oceania.

He agreed with his counterpart Tony Abbott on Tuesday that the 2 nations will work together more closely in the areas of trade and security.

They signed an economic partnership agreement and a pact to jointly develop defense equipment. They also agreed to conduct joint defense drills with the United States and aim for an early conclusion of the negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade agreement.
Abe was invited to a meeting of all Australia's cabinet ministers.

He briefed them on the decision to reinterpret the Constitution to enable Japan to exercise the right to collective self-defense.

Abe and Abbott are scheduled to visit an iron ore mine on Wednesday.

Australia is the world's second-largest producer of iron ore. The country also has rich deposits of natural gas and coal.

Jul. 8, 2014 - Updated 21:11 UTC