Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper have agreed to start ministerial-level talks to discuss shale gas imports to Japan from Canada. Abe met Harper in Ottawa on Tuesday. Abe talked about a pipeline project in which some Japanese firms are taking part. They are hoping to start shipments to Japan in 6 years. Abe asked Harper to approve the shale gas export plan as soon as possible. He said Japan hopes to import a steady supply of cheap natural gas. Harper said the hurdles for approval are not very high. Both leaders agreed that ministers from the two countries should discuss a financial cooperation framework and other matters for a quick start to the trade of shale gas. Abe and Harper also agreed to conclude the Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement, called ACSA, at an early date. This will strengthen cooperation between the Japanese Self-Defense Forces and the Canadian military to provide water and fuel for each other in disaster relief activities, and other cases. After the talks, in joint news conference with Harper, Abe said he has high hopes that the ministerial discussions will secure a stable supply of natural gas at competitive prices. Abe left Canada for the United States and arrived in New York on Tuesday to attend the UN general assembly.