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Japan’s economy minister to visit Russia before APEC summit to prepare Putin-Abe meeting

September 06, 2016, 18:01 UTC+3 TOKYO

Issues of the development of relations with Russia have been in Seko’s competence for a long time

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Japan’s Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Hiroshige Seko (center)

Japan’s Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Hiroshige Seko (center)

© AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi

TOKYO, September 6. /TASS/. Japan’s Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Hiroshige Seko told TASS on Tuesday he plans to visit Moscow by November to secure progress on a number of projects by a meeting between Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit due to take place in Peru in November.

"At a bilateral meeting of the two leaders, President Putin said he wanted me to visit Moscow. Prime Minister Abe agreed with that and commissioned me to pay this visit the soonest possible," Seko said, adding that a similar invitation had come from Russian Minister of Economic Development Alexei Ulyukayev. 

"So far however, neither the agenda nor the date of the visit has been appointed," he said, adding that Japan’s parliament takes part in the organization of the visit and certain issues are yet to be fixed. Nevertheless, he promised to do his best during the visit to ensure progress on joint projects that would be in focus at a top-level meeting due to be held on the sidelines of the APEC summit. "A top-level meeting is scheduled for November, at the APEC summit. So, I would like to visit Moscow ahead of the summit to secure progress on [joint] projects that would be discussed on the sidelines of the APEC summit," the Japanese minister said.

Issues of the development of relations with Russia have been in Seko’s competences for a long time. However he was formally assigned these duties on September 1 when the prime minister appointed him to a new position of minister in charge of the development of economic cooperation with Russia.

Seko was among the key members of the Japanese delegation at the Second Eastern Economic Forum in Russia’s Vladivostok. The delegation was led by the prime minister. While in Vladivostok, the Japanese economy minister took part in the extended top-level talks and met with Russia’s Minister of Economic Development Alexei Ulyukayev and First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov.

According to Seko, cooperation between the two countries is to be based on an eight-point plan offered to Putin by Abe at their meeting in Russia’s Black Sea resort city of Sochi on May 6. The plan envisages development of relations in the energy sector, in the sphere of small and medium-sized business, industrialization of the Far East and expansion of the export base. Apart from that, the program provides for closer cooperation in the sphere of advanced technologies, including nuclear energy, and humanitarian exchanges. A separate provision concerns cooperation aiming to increase average life expectancy in Russia, including by means of establishing a system of medical center for the elder.

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