MOSCOW, May 26. /TASS/. Japan and Russia have scheduled meetings of foreign and defense ministers in the ‘two plus two’ format for the second half of 2018, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Saturday after his talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
"We need to deepen further the security dialogue. We are planning to hold a third ‘two plus two’ meeting between the foreign and defense ministers in the second half of this year," Abe said.
The latest talks in that format took place in Tokyo in March 2017.
Abe added that "Russia and Japan will step up cooperation against terrorism, drug trafficking, money laundering and other non-traditional threats."
Earlier, Nikkei daily wrote that in the run-up to new talks between the foreign and defense ministers, "the top uniform officers of the Japanese Self-Defense Forces and the Ground SDF [will] visit Moscow, following a trip to Japan last year by Russian military chief Valery Gerasimov."
Abe and Putin agreed to restart the ‘two plus two’ talks and meetings between the two countries’ defense officials during the Russian president’s visit to Japan at the end of 2016.