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Japanese ruling party’s chief sets off on visit to Russia

April 26, 11:25 UTC+3 TOKYO

Japan views Nikai’s trip as part of the groundwork for the upcoming visit by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to Russia in late May

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Toshihiro Nikai, secretary general of Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party

Toshihiro Nikai, secretary general of Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party

© Wu Hong/Pool Photo via AP

TOKYO, April 26. /TASS/. Secretary General of Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party Toshihiro Nikai on Thursday embarked on a visit to Russia where he is due to take part in a Russian-Japanese forum, the Kyodo news agency reported.

"This is an important opportunity to bring Japanese-Russian relations to a new level and hold bilateral exchanges between the ruling parties and also in the economic field," Nikai told reporters ahead of his flight from Tokyo’s Narita International Airport.

Together with Nikai, some 200 representatives from Japan’s business circles and the country’s regional administrations, which have ties with Russia, are travelling there to take part in the fourth Russian-Japanese forum, Points of Contact.

During the visit, the Secretary-General of the Liberal Democratic Party will meet with the leadership of the United Russia party and Speaker of the Federation Council (Russia’s upper house of parliament), Valentina Matviyenko.

Japan views Nikai’s trip as part of the groundwork for the upcoming visit by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to Russia in late May. Abe will take part in the opening of the Cross Year of Culture and the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.

Nikai is the second most important person in the Liberal Democratic Party and is a very influential Japanese politician. One of the key trajectories of his diplomatic activity is China. Since his appointment to this post, Nikai has met twice with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

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