Shinzo Abe is president of the Liberal Democratic Party and was elected prime minister of Japan in December 2012. He also served as prime minister in 2006 after being elected by a special session of Japan’s National Diet, but resigned after less than a year.
Our editors will be looking ahead today to these developing stories ...
Abe in Washington for key talks
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe arrives in Washington for talks that will be watched closely in Beijing. Abe, who will meet US President Barack Obama for the first time tomorrow, is expected to seek to strengthen the Japanese alliance with the US amid tension with China. North Korea and its nuclear weapons programme are also high on the agenda for the two leaders.
Local artists await award results
Five Hong Kong artists are anxiously awaiting the results of the region's biggest arts competition, the Sovereign Asian Art Prize. Works by Lam Tung-pang, Movana Chen, Morgan Wong and the duo Laurent Gutierrez and Valerie Portefaix are among 30 contenders for the award. The US$30,000 prize will be handed over in a ceremony at Hong Kong's Four Seasons Hotel.
Sevens teams hope for luck of draw
The countdown to the Hong Kong Sevens begins in earnest, with the draw for the expanded rugby festival. This year, for the first time, the weekend's action will feature 28 teams divided into two competitions. Hong Kong will take part in the 16-team main competition while Taiwan and Japan are Asia's representatives in the secondary competition, which will act as a qualifier for the 2014 World Series. The sevens runs from March 22 to 24 at the Hong Kong Stadium.
Mugabe still going strong at 89
Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe marks his 89th birthday - but shows no sign of giving up a leadership that stretches back to 1980 in the state formerly known as Rhodesia. Zimbabwe last week announced it would hold a vote on a new constitution next month and elections in July, with the draft constitution offering Mugabe the chance to seek another decade in power.
Cathay's new cargo terminal opens
Cathay Pacific Airways commences operations at its HK$5.9 billion air cargo terminal at Hong Kong International Airport. The 240,000-square-metre complex will boost airfreight capacity at the airport by 50 per cent to 7.4 million tonnes. About 1,800 people will be employed at the seven-storey building when it is fully operational, including 500-600 directly employed by Cathay Pacific Services.
Shaanxi governor speaks on economy
Shaanxi province's new governor Lou Qinjian speaks in Beijing on the northwestern province's economy and waterworks projects. Lou is a computer scientist and served as vice-minister of industry and information technology before moving on to Shaanxi as vice-governor in 2010. The province's industrial sector is based heavily on natural resources and hi-tech business.