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Japan set to continue political dialogue with Russia — government

October 06, 2015, 14:40 UTC+3 TOKYO
According to Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary, "under an earlier agreement, Japan will continue preparations for President Putin’s visit"
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Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga

Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga

© AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko

TOKYO, October 6. /TASS/. Tokyo will continue the political dialogue with Moscow and hopes that Russian President Vladimir Putin will come to Japan on a visit, Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a news conference on Tuesday.

"We’ll continue the political dialogue with Russia and efforts to make it beneficial to our national interests," he said, commenting on the statement by US Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken who said it was necessary to "increase pressure on Russia." According to Suga, "under an earlier agreement, Japan will continue preparations for President Putin’s visit."

In late September, Yoshihide Suga told a news conference after Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida and his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov agreed to restart high-level negotiations related to a decades-old territorial dispute that Japan would continue to work toward realising a visit by Russian President Vladimir Putin by the end of the year, following recent talks between the countries’ foreign ministers in Moscow, Kyodo news reported. "We hope to move on with preparations toward the (president's) visit at an appropriate time this year," Suga said then.

On Monday, Blinken, who paid an official visit to Tokyo, gave an interview to the local media. He said it was very important to continue the pressure on Russia. According to him, the US should maintain its previous stance in relation to President Putin until the final resolution of the Ukrainian crisis. Referring to Tokyo’s intention to organise a visit of the Russian leader to Japan, he said that it caused the US concern.

Putin said at a meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in New York within the framework of the UN General Assembly session that Moscow and Tokyo had prospects for improving bilateral trade the volume of which has recently declined. "At the start of the meeting, I would like to note that our contacts in different directions have intensified. For the first time in several years, an inter-governmental commission held a session," Putin said. He added that secretaries of the two state’s security councils also maintain contacts. "However, our trade turnover has decreased, though I am confident that there are good prospects [for increasing it], and a large number of joint projects is the best evidence of that," Putin said.

Abe said for his part he was ready to continue efforts to develop relations with Russia and discuss peace treaty issues with the Russian president in a calm atmosphere. "I was reelected leader of Japan’s Liberal Democratic Party and now we have solid grounds for further calm discussion with Vladimir Putin of the peace treaty problem," he said. "And I am ready to exert effort to further develop our relations," Abe said.

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