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TOKYO, June 12. /TASS/. Japan’s former Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori has congratulated the people of Russia with the state holiday Russia Day, celebrated on June 12, Japan Times daily reported on Friday.
"I would like to extend my heartfelt congratulations to the people of Russia on the occasion of this grand holiday," Mori said adding that "relations between Japan and Russia, which play an important role in the Asian-Pacific region and in the whole world, continue developing."
Mori also said that on his behalf he will "employ all the necessary efforts for Japan and Russia to overcome all existing challenges and continue developing good-neighbor relations, which the two countries enjoy."
On June 12, 1990 the First Congress of People’s Deputies of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic [RSFSR] voted for a Declaration of the RSFSR State Sovereignty. The Soviet Union would stay in existence for another year. In 1990 Mikhail Gorbachev was still president of the USSR, and his chief political opponent, Boris Yeltsin, holding the post of the Russian parliament’s speaker, was the one who initiated the Declaration’s adoption.
June 12 has been a public holiday since 1992. A short while later the date was called Russian Federation State Sovereignty Declaration Day and then, Independence Day. Nowadays the holiday is called Russia Day.