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Japanese lawmaker regrets deterioration of Moscow-Tokyo ties

Muneo Suzuki became the first Japanese MP to visit Russia after February 2022

MOSCOW, October 4. /TASS/. A member of the Japanese parliament’s upper chamber, Muneo Suzuki, regrets that the ties between Russia and Japan created by Russian President Vladimir Putin and late former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe have been destroyed.

"Regrettably, practically everything done by Mr. Abe and Mr. Putin to strengthen and develop the Russian-Japanese relations was destroyed over the past year," Suzuki said at a meeting with the Russian Federation Council (upper chamber)’s Deputy Speaker Konstantin Kosachev in Moscow.

Suzuki said he had arrived in Moscow on the evening of October 1. The next day, he met with Sergey Glazyev, Minister in charge of Integration and Macroeconomics of the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC), Deputy Foreign Minister Andrey Rudenko, as well as Deputy Foreign Minister and former ambassador to Tokyo Mikhail Galuzin.


Reaction in Tokyo

Suzuki is known for his ties to Russia. He served as an advisor on various issues related to cooperation with Russia during the tenure of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Suzuki became the first Japanese parliamentarian to visit Russia since February 2022.

His decision was met with a mixed reaction in Japan. Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno recalled the government's warning that Japanese citizens not visit Russia, regardless of the purpose of the trip. He noted that the government had not received any notification from Suzuki about his intention to visit Moscow.

The Japan Innovation Party, which Suzuki is a member of, said it could take disciplinary action against him since he did not inform the party leadership either. Suzuki wrote this off as an administrative oversight in comments to local media. Toshimitsu Motegi, secretary general of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), as well as Natsuo Yamaguchi, head of the Komeito Party, which is in coalition with the LDP, called Suzuki's trip to Russia undesirable.