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Last year was positive for Russian-Japanese ties, says Russian envoy

The ambassador also said that efforts and joint steps to develop the bilateral relations were advanced in all key areas of the Russian-Japanese agenda

TOKYO, February 7. /TASS/. Russia and Japan reached a number of important agreements in 2019 and, therefore, it can be regarded as successful in the Russian-Japanese relations, Russia’s Ambassador to Japan Mikhail Galuzin told TASS on Friday.

"I would definitely recognize last year as an asset in the Russian-Japanese ties," he said, underlining that such praise can be attributed to the fact that the two leaders reached a number of crucial agreements to comprehensively and gradually develop the ties, while implementation of these large-scale decisions amounted to their contents.

Galuzin also said that efforts and joint steps to develop the bilateral relations were advanced in all key areas of the Russian-Japanese agenda.

Politics and security

In the sphere of politics and security, the Russian envoy to Japan particularly highlighted the contacts held between secretaries of the two national Security Councils, including the visit of Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev to Tokyo last September. Galuzin also mentioned the ‘2+2’ format meeting between the Russian and Japanese foreign and defense ministers in 2019.

The diplomat also said that Russia and Japan actively engaged in cooperation between their military, border, law enforcement and anticorruption agencies, especially lauding the bilateral cooperation aimed against drug trafficking. "Russia and Japan along with relevant UN agencies cooperated to strengthen Afghanistan’s and Central Asian countries’ potential to counter drag trafficking," he said, adding that it would be great to "apply this useful practice and valuable experience to counterterrorist cooperation."

Trade and economy

Galuzin separately mentioned trade and economic cooperation with Japan. "Last year, we witnessed a number of significant events proving that mutual interest and prospects of mutual profits from the cooperation propel the sides to reach major new important joint projects," he underscored, primarily hailing the bilateral cooperation aimed at ensuring energy security.

According to him, a crucial step was taken in this sphere last year - Russia’s Novatek corporation and consortium of Japan’s Mitsui & Co and Jogmec companies launched a project to develop gas fields on the Russian Yamal Peninsula. "This serves as another proof that the Russian-Japanese cooperation is firstly mutually beneficial and promising and, in addition, confirmed Russia’s reputable status of a reliable supplier of energy resources that are strategically important and vital for every country," the ambassador stressed.

This status of Russia, he continued, is proven in both Europe and Asia Pacific.

Cultural and humanitarian exchanges

The diplomat was positive about what last year meant for the bilateral relations from the cultural and humanitarian exchanges’ standpoint. "The program of cross-years of Russia and Japan that ended in late June was very important as it allowed the public in our countries to get to know each other’s achievements in culture, education, science and sports better," he emphasized.

He believes that it brought Russia and Japan closer to each other and deepened mutual understanding and friendship between our nations.

"Naturally, considering everything I said earlier, not for a minute do I disregard the fact that there is still more to explore in our relations with Japan. The potential is not fully tapped yet, we have room to grow and where to intensify our cooperation," he is confident.