Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe ends his two-day visit to Sri Lanka with a visit to a historic Buddhist temple on the outskirts of the capital Colombo. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited a historic Buddhist temple on Monday, ending his two-day trip to Sri Lanka. Abe on Sunday became the first Japanese prime minister to visit Sri Lanka in 24 years, on the second leg of a South Asian tour that sought to assert Tokyo's interest in a region where it has ceded influence to China. Abe was greeted by Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa at Colombo's international airport, where a new passenger terminal will be built with the help of a $330 million Japanese development loan. Abe visited the Kelaniya temple on his way to the airport on Monday, and was welcomed by the chief monk and the chief custodian. After offering lotus flowers to a statue of Buddha, he was blessed by Buddhist monks. The Japanese leader then greeted dozens of children carrying Japanese flags who lined up to meet him. The temple visit coincides with Full Moon Day in Sri Lanka, a religious holiday on the majority-Buddhist island. The Japanese premier pre-empts Chinese President Xi Jinping, who travels to India and Sri Lanka later this month.