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Putin to start his two-day visit to Japan on Thursday

December 15, 2016, 3:14 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Putin earlier visited Japan in the capacity of a president in 2000 and 2005

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© Mikhail Klimentyev/Russian presidential press service/TASS

MOSCOW, December 15. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin will arrive to Japan on a two-day visit on Thursday. He will hold several rounds of talks in different formats with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. On the first day, the meeting at the highest level will take place at the residence of the Japanese prime minister in his hometown ― a city of Nagato in the Yamaguchi prefecture in the south-west of the Honshu Island. On Friday, December 16, Putin and Abe will take part in several events in Tokyo.

Putin earlier visited Japan in the capacity of a president in 2000 and 2005. In a recent interview to Japanese media he said that he visited Tokyo and several other Japanese cities for the first time back in the 1990s, when he was serving as St. Petersburg’s Deputy Mayor.

This will be the forth meeting between Putin and Abe this year. They already held talks in Sochi in May and in Vladivostok in September. The two leaders also met on the sidelines of the APEC summit in Lima in November.

The Kremlin says the invitation for Putin to visit the hometown of the Japanese prime minister is symbolic. "This is the first such gesture made by the Japanese prime minister toward a foreign guest," Russian presidential aide Yury Ushakov told journalists. Putin thinks that "it is always easier to talk in the countryside" and hopes that the environment in Nagato will facilitate ah honest, concrete and productive conversation.

Thursday’s talks in Nagato will consist of three parts ― the meeting of the leaders in the narrow format with participation of several delegation members from both sides; the private conversation between Putin and Abe in the presence of interpreters; and working dinner with participation of leading ministers who are tasked with developing the relations between the two countries.

On Friday, talks in the format of the working breakfast are planned to be held in Tokyo with participation of leading business representatives. Several joint documents will be signed, and a press conference will be held. Putin and Abe will also take part in the Russian-Japanese forum of business circles and visit the Kodokan Judo Institute.

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