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Economy minister calls new Russia-Japan cooperation plan mutually beneficial

October 17, 13:43 UTC+3 TOKYO
The plan to develop relations between the two countries was proposed by the Japanese PM to the Russian president on May 6
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Japan's Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Hiroshige Seko (center)

Japan's Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Hiroshige Seko (center)

© AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi

TOKYO, October 17. /TASS/. A new plan of cooperation between Russia and Japan is advantageous for both countries, it is important to seek its implementation, Japanese Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, Hiroshige Seko, said on Monday speaking at a reception at the Russian Embassy in Tokyo on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of restoring diplomatic relations between the two countries.

"This is a plan where both sides are working for mutual benefit. I would like to exert every effort for its implementation," said Seko who was earlier also appointed the minister in charge of economic relations with Russia. "I have received instructions from Prime Minister Abe to accelerate the implementation of economic projects with Russia, and I was the one who prepared the eight-point plan presented to President Putin in Sochi," the minister added.

He also promised to make efforts to organize the Russian leader’s visit to Japan and create conditions for a summit.

Earlier in the day, Tokyo hosted a Russian-Japanese forum dedicated to the 60th anniversary of restoring diplomatic relations between the two countries. Taking part in it were Russian Ambassador to Japan, Yevgeny Afanasyev, and Vice President of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party of Japan, Masahiko Komura, who is also the chairman of the Japan-Russia society.

The plan to develop relations between the two countries was proposed by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to Russian President Vladimir Putin during their meeting in Sochi on May 6. It envisages the development of relations between Japan and Russia in the energy sector, small and medium-sized businesses, the promotion of the industrialization of the Far East and the expansion of the export base. In addition, it contains a proposal to strengthen cooperation in advanced technologies, including the nuclear power industry, and in humanitarian exchanges.

Russia-Japan peace treaty 

Japan hopes that progress may be reached on concluding a peace treaty with Russia during the visit of President Vladimir Putin in December, Hiroshige Seko said:

"Of course, first of all we expect serious progress in the Russian-Japanese relations in the issue of signing a peace treaty. The environment for achieving this should be created by a plan of economic cooperation and I’m planning to make every effort to implement it," Seko said at a reception at the Russian Embassy in Tokyo on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of restoring diplomatic relations between the two countries

In early September, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe met in Russia’s Vladivostok during the Eastern Economic Forum (EEF) and agreed to step up bilateral talks. They decided to meet in Peru at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in November.

Now Tokyo and Moscow are actively preparing for Putin’s visit to Japan scheduled for December. In October, Japan’s Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida is expected to visit Russia. In November, the bilateral intergovernmental commission on trade and economic issues is due to be held in Tokyo. It will be attended by Russian Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov.

Russia and Japan have no peace treaty signed after World War II. The settlement of this problem inherited by Russia’s diplomacy from the Soviet Union is hampered by the years-long dispute over the four islands of Russia’s Southern Kurils - Shikotan, Habomai, Iturup and Kunashir, which Japan calls its northern territories.

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