TOKYO, February 6. /TASS/. Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov may visit Japan this spring, Japan’s Mainichi newspaper wrote on Saturday.
The newspaper says the purpose of the visit may be to prepare the visit of Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to Russia, as well as a possible visit of Russia’s President Vladimir Putin to Japan.
On Friday, Russia’s presidential press secretary, Dmitry Peskov, told reporters: "As you well know, the option of a visit of Japan's prime minister to Russia in this or that format was discussed at the recent meeting between Putin and Abe."
"They discussed an option of Abe's visit to a Russian region. We cannot give any further data. The Japanese side has not presented its intentions, thus we cannot give any other details," the press secretary said.
On Friday, Japan’s Asahi reported on its website "Prime Minister Abe intends to settle the territory problem."
"For that, he plans to achieve progress at talks via a dialogue with President Putin," the daily wrote. The time and place of a meeting is to be decided by the Russian side, the newspaper wrote, supposing it might take place in a Russian region.
"This meeting will be rather informal and will focus on continuing the dialogue between the two leaders," Asahi quoted a Japanese governmental official as saying. "No official documents will be signed then."
On January 22, Abe and Putin in a telephone conversation agreed to continue personal contacts. "(The two sides) discussed in detail the development of the Russian-Japanese relations. They pointed to mutual interest in stepping up cooperation in the political, trade, economic, humanitarian and other fields. An agreement was reached on continuing personal contacts," the Kremlin press service said.
On November 16, 2015, during the G20 summit in Antalya (Turkey), press secretary of the Russian president said the Japanese prime minister planned to visit a Russian region before the Russian president visits Japan. The press secretary said then Putin’s visit to Japan "will be discussed further on.".