ST. PETERSBURG, May 25. /TASS/. Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe said on Friday he was optimistic to see the national team of Japan playing against Russia in the final of the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
"Let us imagine that the Samurai Blue (Japan’s name for its national football team) take three victories and then meet with Russia in the final," Premier Abe said addressing the 2018 St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.
"This is what I dream of because of having caught a bug of optimism or perhaps of the time difference," Abe added.
The 2018 FIFA World Cup kicks off in 20 days with the opening match in the Russian capital of Moscow.
On December 1, 2017, the State Kremlin Palace in Moscow hosted the Final Draw for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, which determined the group breakdown for the FIFA flagship event this year. A total of 32 national football squads were divided into eight groups with four teams in each.
The national football squad from Japan was placed in Group H alongside with teams from Colombia, Senegal and Poland. The Japanese national football team will first play on June 19 against Colombia in Saransk, then will face the team from Senegal on June 24 in Yekaterinburg and will take on Poland on June 28 in Volgograd.
Russia selected 11 host cities to be the venues for the matches of the 2018 World Cup and they are Moscow, St. Petersburg, Sochi, Kazan, Saransk, Kaliningrad, Volgograd, Rostov-on-Don, Nizhny Novgorod, Yekaterinburg and Samara.
The matches of the 2018 World Cup will be held between June 14 and July 15 at 12 stadiums located in the 11 mentioned above cities across Russia. Two of the stadiums are located in the Russian capital.
The St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, running between May 24 and 26, is one of the world’s key economic discussion platforms, held under the auspices of the Russian president. Traditionally, it assembles foreign chiefs of state and government, key public figures, heads of international organizations and major companies, leading world experts, analysts and media.
The events of the forum have been banded together under the motto of "creating an economy of trust". TASS news agency is the general information partner and the forum’s official photohost agency. The news service is also the operator of SPIEF’s presentation zone, supported by the EY consulting company and the Foreign Investment Advisory Council.