TOKYO, July 25 (Xinhua) -- Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Thursday kicked off his third visit to Southeast Asia to deepen ties with the emerging area as this year marks the 40th anniversary of friendship and cooperation between Japan and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
Following his first overseas visits as newly elected prime minister to Vietnam, Thailand and Indonesia in last December and Myanmar in May, Abe, this time, will visit Malaysia, Singapore and the Philippines for a three-day tour.
Abe will first arrive at Kuala Lumpur and is expected to meet with Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak later Thursday.
In Singapore on Friday, Abe will meet with his Singaporean counterpart Lee Hsien Loong and he also plans to hold talks with U. S. Vice President Joe Biden, who will stop at the country after visiting India.
Abe will pay a visit to the Philippines on Saturday and is expected to meet with the country's President Benigno Aquino III in Manila.