Suga may visit Vietnam, Indonesia in mid-October

NHK has learned Japan's Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide may visit Vietnam and Indonesia in mid-October if coronavirus situations allow. It would be his first overseas trip after taking office.

Recent infection curves have been relatively stable in the two nations. If Suga visits them, he is expected to meet Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Indonesian President Joko Widodo.

Vietnam chairs the Association of Southeast Asian Nations this year. Indonesia is a Group of 20 member and the most populous ASEAN country.

Suga will likely seek to further boost cooperation with ASEAN countries to promote peace and stability in the region.

Tensions between the United States and China are high over the South China Sea. Beijing claims most of the area. But it has competing territorial claims with some ASEAN countries and Taiwan.

Vietnam and Indonesia were among the countries Japan's former Prime Minister Abe Shinzo chose as destinations for his first foreign trip after launching his second administration.

Suga has already held phone talks with the leaders of the United States, China, Russia, and other countries after becoming prime minister in mid-September.