TOKYO, February 26. /TASS/. Despite the current political situation, Japan is much more forward-thinking in what concerns cooperation with Russia than many other Moscow’s partners, a Russian lawmaker said on Friday.
"The people we spoke with know Russia and this problem [sanctions — TASS] well enough," Andrei Klimov, a deputy chairman of the international committee at Russia’s Federation Council upper parliament house, who arrived in Tokyo along with Mikhail Slipenchuk, a State Duma lower parliament house coordinator for relations with the Japanese parliament, told journalists. "Generally, we have felt that Japan dislikes these sanctions. Secondly, we have seen that Japan is much more forward-thinking than some of our other partners."
According to Klimov, his visit was more successful than he had expected. Thus, in his words, one of the meetings with Japanese lawmakers lasted much longer than planned. "On the one hand, it was linked with the forthcoming visits to Japan by [State Duma speaker Sergey] Naryshkin and [Federation Council speaker Valentina] Matviyenko. On the other hand, it was linked with a series of visit to Russia by the leaders of Japan’s Liberal Democratic Party due to take place soon, including a visit both we and the Japanese expect by their prime minister [Shinzo Abe], who is the leader of the Liberal Democratic Party. We see the year 2016 as a serious Russia-Japan year. It has not been officially declared that way but it may take place," he said.
Among the topics the Russian lawmakers discussed in Japan were international problems, including the crisis in Ukraine and Syria. "Japan will have presidency in the Group of Seven [a G7 summit will be held in Japan in May — TASS] and we wanted to know how the see that," Klimov noted. "We discussed these topics not with experts but with people who are behind the policy of the ruling party. In this sense, it was a new aspect."
He also said that Federation Council (upper house of the Russian parliament) speaker Valentina Matviyenko planned to visit Japan. "As far as I know, the Japanese side suggest this visit be paid in the autumn. We are looking at it, discussing it within the Federation Council. She does want to visit Japan," Klimov added.