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Putin may pay visit to Japan before year end — State Duma speaker

"The next meeting of the leaders of our countries will be held in early September at the second Eastern Economic Forum," Naryshkin said

TOKYO, June 17. /TASS/. Speaker of the Russian State Duma lower house of parliament Sergei Naryshkin during a meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Tokyo on June 16 handed him an invitation to visit the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok in September. He also said that the visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin to Japan is possible before the end of this year.

Naryshkin told reporters after the meeting he had passed on "friendly tidings" from Moscow to Abe, Kyodo news agency reported. "We discussed the cooperation between our countries and a broad range of issues of interest to both countries and both peoples," Naryshkin said. The two also discussed Abe's planned talks with Putin in Vladivostok in September, Naryshkin said.

"The next meeting of the leaders of our countries will be held in early September at the second Eastern Economic Forum. At a meeting with the Japanese prime minister I confirmed the invitation," Naryshkin said at a working breakfast with members of the NGO Council of Friendly Exchanges.

Speaking of Russian-Japanese relations, the speaker said that Russia "firmly supports their development in various spheres of mutual interest," adding that the bilateral high-level contacts have intensified. "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. We hope that this work will be continued... 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", he said.

The delegation of parliamentarians led by Naryshkin is on a visit on Tokyo that will last until June 17. The State Duma speaker planned to meet with the leadership of the Japanese parliament, members of the Japanese non-governmental organization Council of Friendly Exchanges and take part in the opening ceremony of the 11th Festival of Russian Culture in Japan.