By Ben Geman - 02/20/13 03:17 PM EST
Japan is already the world’s largest liquefied natural gas importer, and the 2011 nuclear disaster there has further increased its need for outside energy supplies.
Almost all of Japan’s nuclear plants remain offline in the wake of the earthquake and tsunami that led to meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi plant.
On Capitol Hill, bills recently introduced in the House and Senate would expedite approval of gas exports to Japan and NATO allies. Click here and here for more about the proposals.
The White House, in announcing the Feb. 22 visit, said it will be a far-reaching discussion between the two leaders.
“The President looks forward to in-depth discussions with Prime Minister Abe on a range of bilateral, regional and global issues, including the U.S.-Japan Security Alliance, economic and trade issues, and deepening bilateral cooperation,” White House spokesman Jay Carney said in a statement last week.