Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe meets with President Raul Castro and former leader Fidel Castro as he kicks off the first-ever visit to Cuba by a Japanese leader. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
NATURAL ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe met with Cuban President Raul Castro on Thursday (September 22) in Havana, marking the historic visit as the first Japanese leader to visit the Caribbean nation. The visit comes after Japan this week reorganised Cuba's debts. Cuba's other long-term trading partners have already used debt forgiveness, swaps and new financing to try to win investment opportunities on the island. Japanese firms wanting to gain a foothold in the country of 11 million people ahead of their competitors have descended here en masse in recent months, scouting for openings. Later, Abe met with Cuba's former leader Fidel Castro. Fidel Castro, aged 90, stepped down from the Cuban presidency in 2008 after his 49-year-rule and is rarely seen in public. He reportedly still holds influence over government in the Caribbean.