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Japan outdoes G7 in fostering ties with Russia, which Moscow appreciates, notes lawmaker

A Russian senator says the political will of the leadership in Moscow and Tokyo is not enough to sort out all the challenges in bilateral relations

TOKYO, January 26. /TASS/. Japan is outperforming all other G7 countries in cultivating ties with Russia and Moscow highly appreciates this, although believes this is not always an easy task for the Japanese leadership, Federation Council International Affairs Committee Chairman Konstantin Kosachev said at a meeting with Japan’s Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Manabu Horii on Friday.

"We certainly see that in terms of developing ties with Russia, Japan is taking very active steps, has many initiatives and in this respect outshines other G7 countries, which have pursued a rather tough line on Russia after the events in Ukraine," the lawmaker explained.

"We may suggest that this is not always easy for the Japanese leadership but we highly appreciate this line and this stance, and Russia is certainly ready to back this in every respect," Kosachev stated.

However, the legislator noted that political will of the Russian and Japanese leadership is not enough to solve all the challenging issues in bilateral relations. "There should be a social climate for this, a mood in society, both in Japan and Russia, to solve particular problems," he stressed.

"Creating this favorable social climate and viewing each other as partner countries and friends" is a vital objective for all contacts, even among parliamentarians, Kosachev pointed out.

Lately, Moscow and Tokyo have stepped up dialogue at all levels. The framework for fostering economic cooperation between Russia and Japan is an eight-point plan proposed by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in May 2016. It calls for efforts to bolster ties between the two countries in the energy sector, in the small and medium-sized business segment, and in the industrialization of the Far East as well as expanding the export base. Besides, it includes a proposal to bolster cooperation in cutting-edge technologies, including nuclear power, and in humanitarian exchanges.