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TOKYO, September 24. /ITAR-TASS/. The Japanese government has made no decision yet on the timeframe of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to the country, a Japanese Foreign Ministry official told ITAR-TASS on Wednesday.
Commenting on the reports that the invitation to the Russian leader has been allegedly withdrawn, the official said that “nothing has been decided on the schedule of President Putin’s visit to Japan”. “This issue will be studied based on various factors,” he added.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in a telephone conversation with Vladimir Putin on September 21 proposed to hold a bilateral meeting, in particular, during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum’s summit that is due in Beijing in November.
Earlier this year, the Russian and Japanese leaders reached an agreement in principle on the Russian president’s visit this autumn. However, the Ukrainian crisis and Tokyo’s sanctions against Moscow have disrupted the preparations’ schedule. In particular, Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida’s visit to Moscow and previously planned bilateral consultations at the level of deputy foreign ministers have not taken place.
At the same time, Tokyo has repeatedly called for dialogue with Moscow. In particular, Japan’s former Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori, who conveyed to President Putin in the Kremlin a personal message from Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, made a relevant statement in early September.
On Monday, September 22, Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary expressed disappointment over the opening of a new airport on the Iturup Island. He said, however, that this fact would not affect the possible top-level talks between Japan and Russia.