French president to visit disaster-hit Japan
French President Nicolas Sarkozy will visit Japan Thursday to show solidarity by the G8 and G20 groups he currently chairs with the disaster-hit country, the foreign ministry in Tokyo said.
Sarkozy, after a two-day China visit, will stop in Tokyo to meet Prime Minister Naoto Kan, the foreign ministry said Tuesday.
"Upon the Tohoku-Pacific Ocean earthquake, as the chair of the G8/G20 summit this year, President Sarkozy has been expressing his intention to visit Japan to express the support and solidarity of the international community to Japan," the ministry said in a statement.
Japan was hit on March 11 by a massive quake and tsunami that shattered towns along the coast of the northeastern Tohoku region, has left more than 28,000 dead or missing, and sparked a major nuclear plant emergency.
Sarkozy, was to travel to Nanjing, China, for a conference from Wednesday on reforming the world monetary system.
The French president said on March 17 that "if the opportunity presented itself and if the Japanese authorities agreed, it goes without saying that during my Asia tour, I would go there to show our solidarity."
© 2011 AFP