TOKYO, January 10 (Itar-Tass) — Chairperson of the Federation Council upper house of the Russian parliament Valentina Matviyenko begins her working visit to Tokyo on Tuesday. The program of her three-day trip includes talks with Japanese leaders and participation the 20th jubilee session of the Asian-Pacific Parliamentary Forum (APPF).
The first day of the visit is fully devoted to bilateral meetings. Matviyenko plans to meet with colleagues from the Japanese parliament and have consultations at the Japanese Foreign Ministry. "The possibility of her meeting with Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda is very high," deputy FC speaker Ilays Umakhanov, who is coordinator of the Russian delegation, said ahead of the visit.
Sources told Tass Matviyenko would discuss in Tokyo the development of the political dialogue at all levels between the two countries, as well as prospects for bilateral trade and economic cooperation. The parties are also likely to discuss more intensive regional ties.
In Matviyenko's view, "interaction between Russian and Japanese regions is very promising."
When she occupied the post of St.Petersburg governor, she made efforts to expand the city's economic ties with Japan and attract Japanese business.
"As a result of our productive work, Petersburg's trade turnover with Japan increased by 2.4 times in 2010, and this year, it is expected to increase two-fold," Matviyenko said earlier.
"There are some 50 companies with Japanese stakes operating in St.Petersburg, including a big car-making cluster. This successful experience in cooperation can spread to other Russian regions. Our chamber - the chamber of regions -- is ready to actively contribute to it," Matviyenko said.
For his part, Umakhanov is hoping that Matviyenko's visit to Tokyo will give an additional impulse to Russian-Japanese parliamentary ties and inter-state relations in general."
In his view, it is a multi-vector interaction, because it includes a large block of humanitarian issues aside from political and economic contacts.
On Monday, January 11, Matviyenko will speak at the plenary session of the Asian-Pacific Parliamentary Forum on its future work and propose the venue for its 21st session.
The head of the Russian delegation is expected to reiterate Russia’s proposal to host APPF-2013 forum in Vladivostok and invite APPF parliamentarians to continue discussions on the Russian land.
"For Russia, cooperation with countries of the Asian-Pacific region is one of the most important foreign policy priorities," Matviyenko underlined in his connection, "APPF is a good dialogue floor for regional parliamentarians."
Also, the Russian invitation has a meaningful, geographical and chronological association with the summit of the Asian-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in Vladivostok in 2012. Initially, the APPF was conceived as "a parliamentary dimension of the Asian-Pacific Economic Coloration forum," a Russian delegation member told Tass.
The APPF, a forum of national parliamentarians, was established in January 1993. It seeks to expand regional cooperation, support liberalization of international trade and investments, and promote cooperation in the interests of strengthening regional peace and security.
The forum brings together parliamentarians from Australia, Cambodia, Canada, Costa Rica, Chile, China, Colombia, Ecuador, Fiji, Indonesia, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Laos, Malaysia, Marshall Islands, Mexico, Micronesia, Mongolia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, the Philippines, the Russian Federation, Singapore, Thailand, the United States and Vietnam.
Australia and Brunei have observer status.