Japanese prime minister praises relations with oil-rich UAE

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is praising relations between his country and the United Arab Emirates.

Abe says Japan and the UAE will sign an investment agreement during his trip to the Emirati capital, Abu Dhabi.

About a quarter of all oil imports for Japan come from the UAE, a federation of seven sheikhdoms on the Arabian Peninsula.

The importance energy-hungry Japan puts on that relationship could be seen at the Japan-UAE Business Forum that Abe addressed in Abu Dhabi on Monday. A parade of speakers, including oil company INPEX Corp.'s CEO, stressed the need for those ties.

After Abu Dhabi, Abe will travel to Jordan, Israel and the Palestinian territories. Before leaving Japan, Abe told journalists Middle East peace was a priority on his trip.