TOKYO, July 8. /TASS/. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has said he hopes the visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin to Japan will take place this year. He was speaking in Sapporo ahead of elections to the upper house of parliament scheduled for July 10.
"I am determined to win a landslide victory in these elections and continue to work on organizing President Putin’s visit to Japan this year," Kyodo news agency quotes him as saying.
Speaker of the Russian State Duma (lower house of parliament) Sergey Naryshkin said during his recent trip to Tokyo that the Russian leader’s visit to Japan could take place before the end of the year. He noted that "the intensification of bilateral contacts in the political and economic spheres creates a good basis for the further strengthening of Russian-Japanese relations as a whole," expressing the hope that this work will continue. According to Naryshkin, the meetings and consultations that have taken place "make a good springboard for the Russian president’s visit to Japan, which will obviously take place before the end of the year."