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Russia and Japan agree to boost cooperation — Lavrov

Moscow and Tokyo have agreed to continue cooperation on the Korean Peninsula issue

MOSCOW, November 24. /TASS/. Russia and Japan are interested in building up trade and economic cooperation, volumes of which have recently declined, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Friday following talks with his Japanese counterpart Taro Kono.

"In accordance with the instructions of the Russian President and Japanese Prime Minister, we expressed our mutual interest in increase trade, economic and investment cooperation, as its volumes have recently decreased," he noted.

According to Lavrov, specific measures to correct this situation will be discussed on Friday at a meeting of the intergovernmental commission on trade and economic cooperation, which is headed by Russian First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov.

Lavrov noted that his talks with Japanese Foreign Minister "were carried out in a constructive manner and were very detailed." "Our priority issues were implementation of the agreements reached by the leaders of our countries," the Minister said.

According to the Minister, a meeting of Russian-Japanese and Japanese-Russian committees on trade and economic cooperation scheduled for late November will help find additional ways to increase trade and economic cooperation between the two countries.

North Korean issue

Moscow and Tokyo have agreed to continue cooperation on resolving the situation on the Korean Peninsula, Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono said following talks with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov on Friday.

"North Korea was discussed at the talks among other international issues," the minister noted. "I stressed that full compliance with the UN resolution is necessary for the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, which is a common task for Japan and Russia. An agreement has been reached to continue cooperating closely in this area."

The UN Security Council voted in mid-September to tighten economic sanctions against North Korea in response to nuclear tests and ballistic missile launches. The relevant UN resolution initiated by the US was backed by China and Russia. However, the resolution was softened compared to its previous version, including on Moscow’s initiative.

The next round of consultations between the Russian and Japanese deputy foreign ministers concerning joint economic activities on the South Kuril Islands may take place in early 2018, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said following talks with his Japanese counterpart Taro Kono.

"We have supported made proposal made by our Japanese counterparts to hold a meeting of these two working groups [on joint economic activities on the South Kuril Islands - TASS] in December, after that we will start planning the next round of talks involving deputy foreign ministers, which may be held early next year, I believe," the Russian top diplomat said.

According to him, while discussing the peace treaty issue, the parties focused "on considering ways to implement agreements reached by the two countries’ leaders, which are aimed at launching joint economic activities on the South Kuril Islands." "On the whole, Mr. Kono’s visit, including his talks at the Foreign Ministry and the upcoming meeting of the intergovernmental commission, will be an important step to achieve the tasks that our leaders set at their meetings," the Russian foreign minister concluded.