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MOSCOW, January 12. /TASS/. Last year was very important for Russian-Japanese development, since there was a change in the course of development, Speaker of Russia’s Federation Council (upper house of parliament), Valentina Matviyenko, said at a meeting with Japan’s Economy, Trade and Industry Minister and Chairman of the Russian-Japanese Discussion Club, Hiroshige Seko, on Thursday.
Matviyenko noted that she has warm memories of her visit to Japan in November. In her view, 2016 "was an important year for the Russian-Japanese relations, there was a change in the main trajectory of development." She added that this was possible thanks to "vigorous contacts at the level of the (two countries’) heads of state." "The key event was the official visit by Russian President Vladimir Putin to Japan, the first in 11 years," the speaker noted.
She described the outcome of the Russian leader’s visit as "unprecedented in terms of the scope of cooperation," adding that 12 intergovernmental and interagency agreements as well as 68 commercial deals were inked.
"Now the crucial stage in implementing these agreements has begun," Matviyenko said, adding that it is important to maintain bilateral contacts at all levels for that. She expressed confidence that the inter-parliamentary dialogue will be relevant as well, including within the framework of the House of Councilors’ Japanese-Russian Discussion Club and the Advisory Council for the promotion of the Russian-Japanese inter-parliamentary cooperation, which has been set up and began work at the Federation Council.
She added that the current visit by the Japanese delegation will be an important step towards boosting bilateral relations. "For our part, we also intend to strictly comply with the agreements that have been reached," the speaker stressed.