Abe: Japan enters cooperation pact with Baltic countries

Lithuania's President Dalia Grybauskaite, right, and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe walk together for their meeting at the President's palace in V

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, left, and Latvian Prime Minister Maris Kucinskis lay flowers at the Freedom Monument in Riga, Latvia, Saturday, Ja

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, left, and Latvian Prime Minister Maris Kucinskis shake hands as they pose for a photo prior to their talks in Riga

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, left, and Latvian Prime Minister Maris Kucinskis shake hands as they pose for a photo prior to their talks in Riga

Lithuania's President Dalia Grybauskaite, right, speaks to the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe prior to their meeting at the Presidential palace in

TALLINN, Estonia (AP) — Japan's prime minister says his country has entered into a pact with Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania to boost economic and political ties with the three former Soviet republics.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Latvian Prime Minister Maris Kucinskis said after meeting on Saturday that information technology, transportation and medicine are areas where Japan sees the most potential in the Baltic countries.

Abe praised the cargo harbor in Riga, Latvia's capital, as "a successful center of transportation and logistics" that will allow Asian suppliers to deliver goods to the region.

Latvia is the second leg of Abe's six-nation European tour that started in Estonia on Friday. Abe is scheduled to also visit Lithuania, Bulgaria, Serbia and Romania. He is the first sitting Japanese prime minister to ever visit those countries.