Australia awaits Abe's "historic" visit to city bombed by Japan

Australia awaits Abe's "historic" visit to city bombed by Japan



Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison today highlighted the historic visit of his Japanese counterpart, Shinzo Abe, to the city of Darwin, which was bombed by Japan during World War II.

"It is a moment to reflect and to heal," Morrison told reporters in Darwin before the arrival of Abe, the Japanese president who visits the city.

The capital of the Northern Territory was bombed by Japan on February 19, 1942, an attack that caused 240 deaths and is the largest of a foreign power in the Australian mainland.

Morrison highlighted "humility," as well as Abe's "character and vision of leader," of which he recalled that he had made similar visits in the past.

Abe visited Pearl Harbor (Hawaii) – bombarded by Japan in 1941 – the same year that Barack Obama traveled to Hiroshima, in the first visit of a US president to this Japanese city attacked with the atomic bomb at the end of the Second World War. World.

In Darwin, the Japanese leader plans to inspect the Ichthys gas project of the Japanese company Inpex, which is valued at some AUD 55,000 million (USD 40,041 or EUR 35,330 million).

The Ichthys project was driven by the Japanese withdrawal of nuclear energy in the wake of the Fukushima catastrophe in 2011 and represents Japan's largest single foreign direct investment.

The gas is transported through a gas pipeline of almost 900 kilometers from the Browse Basin, off the coast of Western Australia, to its processing plant in Darwin, for later export, mainly to Japan.

The first gas shipment from Ichthys, in which Inpex and France's Total have a 76 and 24 percent share, respectively, was shipped to Japan by sea last month.

During the meeting, Morrison and Abe are expected to also address security issues in light of China's growing military presence in the region and the trade dispute between Beijing and Washington.

Morrison and Abe will meet in Darwin after participating in the summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Singapore and before doing so at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum this weekend in Port Moresby (Papua New Guinea).

Japan is Australia's second largest trading partner and its main source of direct investment.

The two countries began to negotiate the Reciprocal Access Agreement in 2014 and also signed and ratified the transpacific agreement known as TPP11, which will enter into force at the end of the year.

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