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GARMISCH-PARTENKIRCHEN /Germany/, June 8. /TASS/. Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Monday he hoped Russian President Vladimir Putin would pay a visit to Japan within the current year.
"We want Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to Japan to take place within this year," he told journalists after a Group of Seven summit at the Elmau Castle in Germany’s Bavaria. He said dialogue with Moscow was necessary to solve the problem of what Japan called ‘northern territories,’ or Russia’s southern Kuril Islands. "We will continue dialogue with Moscow," he pledged.
The Japanese prime minister also said it was necessary to involve Russia in international efforts to resolve global problems, including the Ukrainian crisis. He said his country was against the use of force in settling the Ukrainian conflict and expressed support to Kiev in conducting reforms.
On March 31, Russian president’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov told journalists that President Vladimir Putin had no plans to visit Japan "So far, such a visit is not scheduled," he said.
Earlier, the Russian foreign ministry said that at a meeting in Moscow in mid-February the two countries’ diplomats had reiterated "the importance of joint work to prepare Russian President Vladimir Putin’s official visit to Tokyo." No exact dates of such visit were announced. The Kremlin confirmed back then that the president had received such an invitation from Tokyo.