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Japanese minister hopes Russia-hosted 2018 FIFA World Cup will bolster contacts

December 19, 2017, 17:06 UTC+3 TOKYO

Russia and Japan will alaso hold a year of bilateral cultural exchange in 2018

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TOKYO, December 19. /TASS/. The FIFA World Cup, which Russia is set to host in 2018 and the cross-culture years - the Year of Russia in Japan and the Year of Japan in Russia - will help galvanize humanitarian contacts between the two countries, Japanese Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Hiroshige Seko said in an interview with TASS.

"In 2018, the Year of Russia in Japan and the Year of Japan in Russia will be held, as well as the World Cup in Russia. We hope that these events will galvanize humanitarian exchanges between Japan and Russia even more," he stated.

Following an April meeting, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe declared that Russia and Japan would hold a year of bilateral cultural exchange in 2018. It will include a huge circus and animation program, as well as several large exhibitions. The Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts will bring paintings by French impressionist painters from its collection to Japan and it will display an exposition of works from the Edo period (1603-1868 - TASS) from Japan’s museums.

The cultural exchange year will continue the massive festival dubbed "Russian Seasons" which kicked off in Japan. About 250 events were held in 42 Japanese cities and were attended by more than 3.5 mln visitors.

Japan’s national football team will take part in the 2018 FIFA World Cup that will run from June 14 to July 15 in 11 Russian cities. That said the Polish, Colombian and Senegalese teams have been placed in the same group as the Japanese football squad.

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