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Maputo, the capital of Mozambique

Over the next five years Japan will lend Mozambique $672 million, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Sunday.

Japan is seeking to secure access to the East African country’s gas and coal reserves.

Mozambique has seen a dramatic increase in foreign investment since it hit big gas reserves.

“(Our assistance) is aimed at securing access to the vast mineral resources Mozambique boasts, namely, gas and coal, as well as agriculture products,” Abe told reporters after a meeting with Mozambique’s President Armando Guebuza.

The loan will help develop infrastructure in the country’s northern Nacala Corridor Region. This  includes a deep-water port and a railway connecting to neighboring Malawi.

Japan’s Mitsui & Co is partnering with Anadarko Petroleum on a gas project off the coast of Mozambique.

The first LNG shipments are expected in 2018.

Demand in Japan has increased after the Fukushima nuclear disaster shut down all but one of the country’s nuclear power plants.