NPR – Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is set to arrive in Iran on Wednesday to begin a historic trip to the Middle Eastern country where he is expected to try to mediate escalating tensions between Washington and Tehran. Abe’s two-day visit is the first to Iran for a Japanese premier since Takeo Fukuda in 1978.

Speaking at Tokyo’s Haneda Airport just before departing, Abe acknowledged “rising tensions” in the Middle East and said, “Japan wants to do as much as possible towards peace and stability in the region.”

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