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Japan Foreign Minister Kono to visit France in lieu of Abe

Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono (Mainichi)

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Foreign Minister Taro Kono will visit France from Thursday to mark the opening of a Japan-themed cultural event, in lieu of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe who canceled his trip abroad to deal with rain-triggered disasters, the ministry said Tuesday.

Originally, Abe planned to take part in the opening ceremony for the Japonismes 2018 event as part of a trip to Europe and the Middle East, but he has decided to stay in Japan to oversee the government response to the devastation in western Japan caused by recent torrential rain.

A series of events to introduce Japanese culture are scheduled during the Japonismes 2018 event that will run through next February.

The ministry is also making arrangements for Kono to hold talks with French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian and observe France's Bastille Day parade on Saturday.

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