Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic welcomed Abe, who is accompanied by a delegation of Japanese business leaders, at a ceremonial reception on January 15.

Abe is also scheduled to meet with Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic and other officials.

Abe has said that Serbia ‘holds the key to stability’ in the western Balkans.

Japanese officials said that the visit aims to strengthen economic cooperation between the two countries and expand Japan’s diplomatic outreach in Europe.

The last Japanese prime minister to come to Serbia was Yasuhiro Nakasone in 1987, when the country was part of Yugoslavia, and Belgrade was its capital.” (RFE/RL)