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TOKYO, May 21. /TASS/. Russia is ready to work on the preparation for a visit by Russian President Vladimir Putin to Japan, speaker of the Russian State Duma lower parliament house Sergei Naryshkin said on Thursday.
Naryshkin said Russia believed Putin’s visit to Japan was seen as a breakthrough in bilateral relations. "And it implies, first of all, big preparation work concerning substantive matters. And it is impossible to do it by oneself: support from the partner is needed. We are ready to move forward and hope Tokyo will decide on its plans," he said and cited the Russian president as saying that the ball was on Japan’s court.
Naryshkin’s visit to Japan is taking place on the backdrop of a number of unfriendly steps of Tokyo, which sustained Western sanctions against Russia over the situation in Ukraine. Thus, Tokyo banned the entry to the country for and froze assets of a number of Russian nationals allegedly "involved in the developments in Ukraine." Five Russian banks were prohibited to place their securities on the Japanese market. Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to Japan initially planned for the autumn of 2014 was cancelled over the chill in the relations between the two countries.