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Japan looks to Russia's lead role as G8 president

December 31, 2013, 12:41 UTC+3 TOKYO
"We hope for constructive cooperation with Russia," Japan's Foreign Ministry stated
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Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (L), shakes hands with his Japanese counterpart Fumio Kishida (R)

Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (L), shakes hands with his Japanese counterpart Fumio Kishida (R)

© EPA/YOSHIKAZU TSUNO/POOL

TOKYO, December 31. /ITAR-TASS/. A New Year message from Japan's diplomatic community looks to the G8 group of leading nations as the driving force to tackle key global problems during Russia's presidency in 2014.

"We hope for constructive cooperation with Russia," Japan's Foreign Ministry told Itar-Tass, also noting Russia's positive action as G20 presiding nation in 2013.

“This outgoing year showed once again the special importance of joint action to combat terrorism and settle regional conflicts,” the ministry said.

The Group of Eight could play an active role in resolving ecological issues, particularly in creating systems to fight natural disasters, which frequently affected whole regions and needed multinational action, the communiqué added.

“In the G8 format, Japan calls for broader aid to countries under development, particularly African nations to settle issues of vaccination and access to pure drinking water,” the ministry noted.

Contacts at a multinational level, among them the G20 summit in St. Petersburg, had brought an opportunity to intensify Russian-Japanese dialogue, which Tokyo wished to continue in 2014.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is considering a visit to the southern Russian resort city of Sochi to attend the Winter Olympics in February. Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida plans a visit to Moscow in April.

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