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MOSCOW, January 28 (Itar-Tass) — Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov met chairman of the Political Council of the Japanese ruling Democratic Party, former foreign minister Seiji Maehara on Saturday to discuss the development of relations between the two countries.
Commenting on the meeting, the Russian Foreign Ministry reported that Lavrov and Maehara “held a substantial talk on several issues related to Russian-Japanese relations, including the development of inter-party and inter-parliamentary contacts, and the expansion of mutually advantageous trade and economic cooperation”.
Maehara was foreign minister of Japan from September 2010 to March 2011 when he resigned due to the financial scandal. Maehara is known by his severe statements on the territorial dispute between Russia and Japan. In 2010 Maehara said the Northern Territories (Japan’s name of Russian South Kurile Islands) “were illegally seized by Russia”.