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President Maithripala Sirisena would undertake an official visit to Japan from March 12-15 and meet with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Nikkei Asian Review reported on Saturday.

President Sirisena is also scheduled to meet with Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko.

During the President’s visit, it was reported that Japan is expected to reaffirm its commitment to bolstering bilateral ties with Sri Lanka in an effort to forestall ‘Chinese encroachment’ in the region.

When meeting with the President, Premier Abe will likely confirm closer collaboration in several areas such as the economy and stress the importance of a free and open Indo-Pacific region.

According to Nikkei, Japan is expected to try to keep Sri Lanka from leaning back toward Beijing by improving cooperation with President Sirisena and supporting Sri Lankan Government’s diplomatic strategy.

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