TOKYO, May 16. /TASS/. Japan’s government has started preparations for Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida’s visit to Russia, NHK channel said on Saturday.
The preparations started after US Secretary of State John Kerry visited Russia on May 12 and held talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. "There are no obstacles now for Tokyo and Moscow to maintain communication at the level of foreign ministers," NHK quoted Japanese officials as saying.
Tokyo considers Kishida’s visit to Russia as part of preparations for Putin’s visit to Japan planned later this year.
Moscow and Tokyo plan to hold economic consultations at the level of deputy ministers at the end of May. "There is an agreement to hold such consultations in the second half of May, but exact dates have not been set yet," Japan’s Foreign Ministry spokesman said. "Both sides have a positive attitude," he added.
The talks will focus on developing bilateral cooperation in the energy sphere and improving investment climate in Russia. Japan will be represented by Deputy Foreign Minister Yasumasa Nagamine, Russia - by First Deputy Economic Development Minister Alexey Likhachev.
Consultations in Tokyo are considered as part of preparations to upcoming visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin to Japan.
Russia’s Foreign Ministry earlier said that at a meeting in Moscow in February, the diplomats of the two countries confirmed "the importance of joint work on preparing the official visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin to Tokyo, including holding a session of the Russian-Japanese Inter-governmental Commission on Trade and Economic Issues and talks between foreign ministers in Moscow." However, the exact date of the visit was not announced, though the Kremlin confirmed that it received an invitation from Tokyo.