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TOKYO, June 24. /TASS/. Chief of Japan’s National Security Council Shataro Yachi will pay a visit to Russia in July, NHK TV channel reported on Wednesday.
The decision to send Yachi to Moscow was made by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. The official will meet with Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolay Patrushev and discuss concrete measures to facilitate Russian-Japanese dialogue. Yachi’s visit to Russia will contribute to preparing of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s planned visit to Japan and "looking for a key to peaceful resolution of the situation in Ukraine," NHK said.
Yachi visited Moscow in May 2014, when he held a meeting with Patrushev and "expressed Japan’s position on the Ukrainian crisis," according to Kyodo news agency. He noted that "Tokyo will coordinate its actions on this uses with other members of G7." Yachi also visited Moscow in March 2014, when the discussed with Patrushev "the causes of the crisis and latest developments in Ukraine," along with "a wide range of bilateral ties."
Japanese media reported earlier that the governments of the two countries are considering the possibility of Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida’s visit to Moscow in autumn. Kishida’s visit is viewed as a serious part of preparations for Putin’s visit to Japan.
On May 8, Abe told the press conference after the G7 summit that he hopes that Putin will visit Japan this year. "We want the visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin to Japan to take place this year," he noted. "Dialogue with Moscow is important for solving the issue with northern territories [Russia’s South Kuril Islands]," he added.
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.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said earlier in June that Russia will welcome Japan’s readiness for dialogue at the highest level, but it is too early to talk about a date of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to the country.
"The Russian side has certainly always supported progressive development of bilateral relations between Russia and Japan, maintaining dialogue at all levels, including high and highest levels. Of course, if the Japanese side demonstrates mutual readiness to maintain this dialogue, we will welcome it," he added.