TOKYO, March 22. /TASS/. Japanese government awaits promotion of dialogue with Moscow at various levels in the run-up to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s visit to Russia at the end of May, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a news conference on Thursday.
"The Japanese and Russian Foreign Ministers discussed bilateral issues and, in the first place, the problem of a peace treaty," he said. "They also had a frank exchange of opinions on international problems including North Korea."
"Our country and Russia are important partners in Pacific Asia," Suga said. "As we move closer to Prime Minister Abe’s visit to Moscow in May, we expect progress of dialogue with Moscow at various levels."
Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kano and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov held talks in Tokyo on March 21. Preparations for Prime Minister Abe’s official visit to Russia were high on the agenda of their discussion.
The sides took up a number of issues that are traditional for their bilateral agenda, like joint economic activity on the southern Kurile Islands and some topical international problems, including the deployment of the US antimissile missile defense system in Japan.
While in Russia, Shinzo Abe is expected to hold talks with President Vladimir Putin and to attend the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum as a guest of honor. The forum will take place from May 24 through May 28.
In addition, Abe will take part in the opening of mutual years Japanese culture in Russia and Russian culture in Japan.