TOKYO Ė German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrived in Tokyo on Monday for a two-day visit to the country where she is set to meet with Japanís Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
Merkel is set to attend other events to reinforce bilateral ties after landing at Tokyoís Haneda airport.
Both leaders are to host a joint press conference and will end the day with a banquet at Abeís residence, according to Japanís ministry of foreign affairs.
Abe and Merkel are to discuss the role of both countries in contributing to the world economy based on common standards and would deepen their bilateral relations and trust, Japanís Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said.
Merkelís visit comes days after a Japan-European Union trade agreement came into effect with which both countries want to increase their trade and boost their economies, against the background of rising protectionism and trade tensions between the United States and China.
Abe and Merkel have defended multilateralism and free trade at several international forums including the Davos Summit two weeks ago in Switzerland and are expected to reiterate their stance in the G20 Summit scheduled to be hosted in June in Japan.
Merkel is scheduled to meet with Japanese Emperor Akihito at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo and Crown Prince Naruhito. The Crown Prince is due to take the throne later this year when his father abdicates.
The German chancellor is also set to participate in a bilateral economic forum, an event at Keio University and visit an artificial intelligence development center of the Japanese multinational firm NEC.
A dozen business representatives from Germany are accompanying Merkel although no commercial or investment agreements are planned to be signed, according to local media reports.
The European Union is the third largest trade partner of Japan. Among the EUís member states Germany is the country that does the most trade with the Asian nation.
This is Merkelís fifth visit to the country since she came to power in 2005. This is her first visit since the G7 Summit in 2016.