Harper, Japanese PM Shinzo Abe talk energy in Ottawa before UN events

OTTAWA – Japan’s visiting prime minister is keen to talk to Prime Minister Stephen Harper about exporting Canadian shale gas to his energy-hungry country.

Shinzo Abe is in Ottawa for a brief visit before heading to the United Nations General Assembly this week.

Harper will also be in New York, but unlike Abe he won’t be addressing the assembly — a decision seen by some analysts as part of an ongoing snub of the UN.

Harper welcomed Abe to his Parliament Hill office, where Japanese officials say their prime minister wants to explore options around Canada’s shale gas deposits.

Japanese officials say that their country is looking for alternatives to nuclear energy following the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami that crippled reactors at the Fukushima plant.

Harper has made exporting Canadian energy to Asia a key economic priority because of delays by the United States in approving the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, which would carry Canadian oilsands bitumen to the Gulf coast.

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