TOKYO (AP) — Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott is leading a business mission of some 600 people to Tokyo, hoping to reach a free trade agreement during a summit with his Japanese counterpart, Shinzo Abe.
Abbott meets Abe later Monday after an official welcoming ceremony and meetings with Japan’s agriculture and trade ministers.
Japan is Australia’s second-biggest trading partner after China and a major customer for its beef and other farm goods.
Abbott said Sunday that some issues remained to be resolved with Tokyo on trade. Japanese media reported progress on the key sticking points of tariffs on beef exports from Australia and car exports from Japan.
Abbott also is due to visit South Korea and China this week as part of a tour intended to boost Australia’s economic ties with the region.