Abe to attend Nuclear Security Summit

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

JAPAN - Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has decided to attend the Nuclear Security Summit, which will be held in The Hague in March, government sources said Wednesday.

The summit scheduled for March 24-25 will also be attended by US President Barack Obama, Chinese President Xi Jinping and South Korean President Park Geun-hye.

Abe decided to attend the Nuclear Security Summit given that passage of the fiscal 2014 budget by the end of the current fiscal year looks certain.

The summit is expected to discuss such issues as nuclear development by Iran and North Korea.

The United States reportedly hopes that Abe and Park will hold a bilateral summit meeting, but a senior Foreign Ministry official said, "The possibility is extremely low that conditions between Japan and South Korea will be ready for that before the summit."

The Nuclear Security Summit was first held in Washington in 2010, following a proposal by Obama. It is held every two years. Its main themes include responses to nuclear terrorism and strengthening of management of nuclear materials.

Fifty-three countries and four organisations, including the International Atomic Energy Agency, participated in the summit in Seoul in 2012.