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TOKYO, April 9 (Itar-Tass) — The Diplomatic Bluebook, an annual report on Japan’s foreign policy and activities published by the Foreign Ministry, marks the strengthening of ties with Russia, which meets strategic interests of the two countries and makes a contribution to stability in the Asia-Pacific region, emphasizing positive tendencies seen in relations between the two countries.
It said that after the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami, Russian sent in Japan aid and rescuers, and an offer was made to strengthen energy cooperation, the report said. Young people from regions hit by the calamity were invited to Vladivostok and Moscow, and specialists exchanged opinions on ways to cope with the Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster. Last year saw two summit meetings, and the foreign ministers of the two countries met four times.
Building relations of partnership between Japan and Russia not only meets their strategic interests, but also makes a contribution to stability and prosperity of the region, the Diplomatic Bluebook noted.
The strengthening of bilateral economic relations is advantageous for Japan as it diversifies its energy sources, gives it an access to the market with the population of 140 million people. As for Russia, it is important from the point of view of the development of Siberia and the Far East and modernization of the country’s economy.
After declining under the influence of the global crisis bilateral trade began restoring in 2010, while last year it hit the all-time record of 30.7 billion dollars. Apart from energy cooperation, Japanese companies promoted their business in Russia in the sphere of car production, production of equipment and in other sectors, the report stressed.
However, big differences persist on the thorny problem of the Northern territories, the report said. The governments of the two countries advance cooperation in different spheres, but the territorial dispute must be settled and a peace accord must be signed in order to build relations of true friendship, it stressed.