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  HOME | Cuba

Japan's Abe to Offer Cuba Medical Equipment Supply during Visit

TOKYO - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will offer Cuba medical equipment supply during his upcoming visit to the island next week, according to a report in the daily Nikkei Wednesday.

The assistance will be part of his country's official development assistance, or ODA, which it claims is nearly $9.71 million for Cuba.

Japan is also expected to fund a training center by specialist doctors in the country.

Other media reports indicate Abe could propose a waiver of two-thirds of the debt Havana owes Tokyo in his meeting with Cuban President Raul Castro, which means Cuba is looking at a debt relief of around $1.16 billion from Japan.

The Japanese leader's visit was officially announced Wednesday by the government spokesperson, but the foreign ministry is yet to confirm it.

Abe's visit would be the first by a sitting Japanese prime minister to the Caribbean island and comes at a time of the Asian archipelago's growing interest in the Cuban market, following re-establishment of Havana-Washington diplomatic ties last year.

Cuba's medical sector is one of the most attractive for Tokyo, which sees supply of equipment (advanced image-processing systems for diagnosis) included in ODA as a first step towards future export of such goods.

Tourism and infrastructure development sectors in Cuba have also caught the eye of Japanese businesses.

In May last year, Japanese foreign minister Fumio Kishida had visited Havana in a first attempt to boost cooperation between the public and private sector.

 

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