TOKYO, February 13. /TASS/. Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, discussed anti-Russian sanctions during his visit to the United States.
"We addressed various issues, including (anti-Russian sanctions)," he said in an interview with the NHK TV network on Monday without providing further details.
According to Abe, the problems of Syria, Iran and Ukraine cannot be solved without direct dialog between Russian and US Presidents, Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump.
"At the same time, (during the talks with the US president in Washington, we discussed) the Syrian issue, the Iranian issue and the Ukrainian issue. These issues cannot be resolved, if President Putin and President Trump do not maintain direct dialogue, can they?" Abe said.
During his visit to the US, Russia’s issue was raised neither in the joint statement nor during the news conference of Abe and Trump. However, the Kyodo news agency reported prior to Abe's visit citing some sources in the government that Japan will continue to adhere to a single stance with the G7 member-countries on the issue of sanctions imposed on Russia over the situation in Ukraine but recognizes the importance of dialogue with Moscow.
In March 2014, Japan imposed sanctions against Russia along with a number of Western countries. As part of these restrictive measures, Tokyo suspended consultations with Moscow on easing visa requirements and postponed indefinitely the beginning of the negotiations on three possible agreements - on investment cooperation, cooperation in space exploration and prevention of dangerous military activities. Despite that, on December 16, the Japanese Foreign Ministry said it eased visa requirements for Russian citizens. Some media outlets, including Asahi, Yomiuri and the Kyodo news agency, interpreted the move as the actual easing of sanctions.