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MOSCOW, August 19 (Itar-Tass) - Igor Morgulov, Russian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, meets with his Japanese counterpart, Shisuke Sugiyama, on Monday for consultations on the problem of concluding a peace treaty and developing bilateral relations.
During the meeting, the sides "are to discuss items on the bilateral agenda, including the peace treaty issue, and exchange views on topical international and regional themes," a Russian Foreign Ministry official said.
A fresh impetus to the Russia-Japan relations, including the dialogue on the peace treaty issue, was given by Japanes Premier Shinzo Abe's visit to Russia at the end of April. This was the first official visit by a Japanese Head of Government in ten years. Russa and Japan agreed to step up the dialogue on the issue but emphasized that it would be a long and no-easy one. The sides did not give specific details of the consultations on the peace treaty issue.
Russia and Japan cooperate in the field of international security, primarily in efforts towards settling the situation on the Korean Peninsula. Both countries are participants in the six-counrry talks on the matter.
During Abe's visist, RF President Vladimir Putin pointed out that strong economic relations might importantly facilitate the political dialogue/. In this respect, the meeting between the leaders of Russia and Japan yielded considerable results. In furtherance of the accords reached, agreements have been signed over the past months between a number of Russian and Japanese companies, including the one between Rosneft and the Japanese Impex Corporation on the development of oil deposits on the continental shelf in the Sea of Okhotsk near Magadan Region. Impex expects to get approximately one-third of shares in a joint venture established with Rosneft. The question of building transport overpasses across Nevelskoi Strait (mainland -- Sakhalin) and La Perouse Strait (Sakhalin -- Hokkaido) is under discussion.
Humanitarian contacts are developing. Cooperation between Moscow's Lomonosov State University and Tokyo University has been restored. A Russian culture festival was held in Tokyo early in June. The festival was attended by Mikhail Shvydkoi, Russian President's representative for international cultural cooperation.