Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his wife Akie, wave as they leave Tokyo International Airport on January 16, 2013, en route to Hanoi
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Japan's Abe seeks new business ties across Asia

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe begins his first overseas visit since taking office. The aim is to boost Japan's business links with its Asian neighbours.

Some observers say the trip is an attempt to rebalance Japan's increasingly tense relationship with China. The BBC's Rupert Wingfield-Hayes reports.