TOKYO, June 3 (Xinhua) -- Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Tuesday left for three European countries, namely Belgium, Italy and Vatican, for an upcoming meeting of the Group of Seven (G7) and Japan-European Union free trade talks.
The meeting of the G7, which groups leaders of Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States, is expected to cover current crisis in Ukraine, world economy, energy security and climate change, local report quoted a Japanese government official as saying.
Abe is expected to meet bilaterally with French President Francois Hollande and other European leaders, and may chat with U. S. President Barack Obama on the sidelines of the Brussels summit, said Japan's Kyodo News.
In Rome, Abe will meet his Italian counterpart Matteo Renzi on Friday with a focus on ongoing free trade talks between Japan and the European Union as Italy will assume the presidency of the 28- nation bloc in July.
Abe's Italian visit marks the first to the southern European country by a Japanese prime minister since 2009.
The prime minister is expected to meet Pope Francis when he is in Vatican before his meeting with Renzi, said the report.