Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, left, and Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid shake hands prior to their talks in Tallinn, Estonia, Friday. Photo: AP

Abe kicks off six-nation European tour in Estonia


Japan's prime minister has kicked off a five-day European tour to Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Bulgaria, Serbia and Romania — becoming the first-ever head of the Asian nation to visit those countries.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe arrived Friday in Estonia's capital of Tallinn, where he focused on cybersecurity and information technology issues. The small Baltic nation of 1.3 million people is considered one of Europe's most advanced technological nations.

Tokyo has been increasingly worried about potential cyberthreats from North Korea and China, and is looking to learn from Estonia, whose public institutions and private companies were hit by a large-scale cyberattack in 2007.

Following a meeting with Estonian Prime Minister Juri Ratas, Abe said both leaders agreed about the threat posed by North Korea's nuclear arms program. He urged the international community to "maximize the pressure" on Pyongyang.

Abe is expected to address the North Korea issue in more detail when he visits Bulgaria, which took over the European Union's rotating presidency from Estonia on Jan 1.

Abe announced that Japan would join NATO's cyberdefense center in Tallinn to boost its capabilities to deal with digital threats.

Abe also met with Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid over discussions on EU-Japan relations and bilateral trade, accompanied by a business delegation with several dozen representatives from Japanese companies.

He travels to Estonia's Baltic neighbors Latvia and Lithuania on Saturday.

© Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Estonian president is both beautiful and smart! With other words complete opposite to American President!

0 ( +6 / -6 )

Would you consider a trade?

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Unlike Trump, he is very polite while trades issues are beneficial to both countries.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

He might be abandoning Trump now.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Great photo showing confident eye contact by both parties!

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Estonian president is both beautiful and smart!

Plenty of beautiful ppl in Estonia. Had never seen so many beautiful women in one place/at the same time, it was unbelievable. Tallinn's also a superb city.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

A long time ago, before WWII, Japan adopted European culture.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Classic picture; neither looking at the other.

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Who'd thought - Abe playing the Big Bogie Kim Jong Un tune in Estonia - Please help us save Japanese citizens. Please help us save the world.

Sure - got to the minor European countries and establish and / or strengthen business, academic, diplomatic ties - but please don't use it as support for your scaremongering base back home.

Everyone knows about NK yesterday. I think he's smarting from the sudden seemingly positive dialogue between Moon & Kim. Having amicable talks (and he wasn't invited) will remove his thunder and question the need for billiions of dollars of unproven American anti-missile technology.(my mate Trump said we have to but it).

Abe - just get back home and focus on fixing all that's not working and try to alleviate some of the enormous pressures facing a large % of a struggling population.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

The body language is apparent, sorry, but beauty and distance is still audacious, and may I suggest ungainly gauche.

Bravery, for a Japanese Premier, an act of diplomacy to counter the government of China and Russia, belt and breeches, sorry braces, or is that road, corruption, sorry keyboard hell, of course correction, I mean silk road hallucinatory apparition where the injudicious nine percent of the population are Russian.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Yep...that chemistry in the main pic is off the charts.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

They don’t seem to have established any rapport.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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