Tokyo Hopes Putin-Abe Meeting to Give Momentum to Bilateral Ties – Ambassador
REUTERS/ Alexander Zemlianichenko/PoolPolitics11:05 04.09.2017(updated 11:06 04.09.2017) Get short URL
The Japanese ambassador to Russia said that he hoped the upcoming meeting between the Russian president and the Japanese prime minister would help to develop bilateral ties, especially in the field of joint cooperation on the southern Kuril Islands.
MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Tokyo hopes that the upcoming meeting between Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Russian President Vladimir Putin during the Eastern Economic Forum (EEF) in Russia’s Vladivostok will give the momentum to the development of bilateral relations between the two states, Japanese Ambassador to Russia Toyohisa Kozuki told Sputnik.
“I hope that during this forum the initial results of cooperation as part of this plan will come into being while the forum itself will help Russians to feel the significance of this plan … We hope that during the current visit to Vladivostok, the results of the first year of such cooperation will be summarized while the visit would give momentum to the development of Russian-Japanese relations in all areas,” Kozuki said, adding a high number of the Japanese businesses are expected to participate in the 2017 EEF.
Japan expects that Vladimir Putin and Shinzo Abe will discuss joint economic activity on the southern Kuril Islands in detail during their meeting, Kozuki added.
“Putin and Abe will very likely discuss joint economic activity on the four islands as well as humanitarian actions for former inhabitants of the islands,” Kozuki said, adding that a Russian-Japanese peace treaty will also be discussed.
The Kuril Islands are the subject of a long-standing territorial dispute between Russia and Japan. In December 2016, Russian President Vladimir Putin paid a two-day working visit to Japan, during which he discussed with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe the possibility of joint economic activity on the South Kuril Islands.
According to the ambassador, newly appointed Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono is striving to develop Tokyo’s bilateral relations with Moscow.
“Minister Kono has firm intentions to develop relations with Russia, [Japan’s] close partner in the Asia Pacific region in various areas,” Kozuki said.
The ambassador recalled that since his appointment as a foreign minister in early August, Kono has already carried out a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on the sidelines of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) forum.
“I believe that this meeting has contributed to the formation of trustworthy relations between [Kono and Lavrov]. Minister Lavrov noted that he is well aware of the contribution of Kono’s father and grandfather to Russian-Japanese relations,” Kozuki pointed out.
The diplomat noted that Kono’s grandfather Ichiro Kono had played a significant role in the conclusion of a bilateral declaration between Japan and the Soviet Union in 1956.
“According to Minister Kono, his father, former Foreign Minister Yohei Kono, paid a lot of attention to the development of Japanese-Russian ties. The minister has also noted his special attention to issues of bilateral contacts between two our countries and underlined his intention to further promote them,” Kozuki added.