TOKIO, February 12. /TASS/. High-level consultations of Russia and Japan will be focusing on Thursday on key issues of relations between the two countries and the world agenda, including Ukraine.
Deputy foreign ministers, Igor Morgulov from Russia and his counterpart Shinsuke Sugiyama from Japan, are due to head the countries’ delegations at the consultations in Moscow.
"The sides are planning to discuss pressing issues on the world agenda, including Russian-Japanese relations and the Ukraine crisis," Japan’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement circulated along with an announcement of the forthcoming consultations.
On Saturday Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida told a Northern Territories Day rally in Tokyo that the Japanese government would continue a dialogue with Russia in spite of difficulties stemming from the current situation around Ukraine.
"In the past year, a crisis erupted in Ukraine, arousing concern in the whole world," Kishida said. "Ukraine’s crisis has been worsening relations between Russia and Japan [in recent months] but our intention to continue a dialogue with Russia has not altered."
Moscow and Tokyo had scheduled talks at the level of deputy foreign ministers for August 2014 but later Russia postponed them.
The spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Zakharova, said then that Moscow found "such meeting [in late August] out of place in view of new anti-Russian sanctions".
"In fact, Russian-Japanese consultations at the level of deputy foreign ministers were planned in Moscow at this date," Zakharova said. However, against the background of sanctions "consultations are postponed. The Japanese side was informed about this," she added.