TOKYO, December 22. /Corr. Alex Sarachev/. Moscow and Tokyo are discussing a specific date of the visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin to Japan, to be held at “an appropriate time”. This was stated on Tuesday the Ambassador extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Russian Federation in Japan Yevgeny Afanasyev at a press conference at the National press club.
“Prime Minister Abe has invited President Putin to visit Japan and this invitation was accepted,” the Ambassador said.
“The visit should take place in the best time for both parties. Many people say that it’s been delayed, but no concrete date has not been set,” – said the Ambassador.
“The main thing here is not when, but what to do for the visit: what training to undertake, to identify which contracts we can sign (at the time of the visit approx. correspondent), which projects to start”, – said Afanasiev. “We have to concentrate on this work, and the date will come by itself. In addition, it is important to note that our leaders are in constant contact,” concluded the Ambassador of the Russian Federation.
On 16 November during the summit of “twenty” in Antalya press-Secretary of Russian leader Dmitry Peskov said that the Prime Minister of Japan plans to visit one of the regions of the Russian Federation to the Russian President’s visit to Tokyo. Peskov stressed that Putin’s visit to Japan “will be discussed further, to talk”. “Maybe before that, will visit Japan premiere in one of the Russian regions, it will be a topic for discussion,” said Sands.
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Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida December 11, said that Japan will continue to seek an opportunity for dialogue with Russia at the highest level in accordance with bilateral agreements. “At the G20 summit meeting of leaders of Japan and Russia. At its end, an agreement was reached to continue dialogue at the highest level. In accordance with this agreement, we will continue to look for such possibility”, – said Kishida.
The main obstacle to the full settlement of Russian-Japanese relations and the signing of the peace agreement is the issue of belonging of the South Kuril Islands. After the Second world war, all the Kurile Islands were incorporated into the USSR. However, the ownership of Iturup, Kunashir, Shikotan and group of Islands Habomai disputed by Japan.
The Ambassador also said that Russia is ready for dialogue with Japan on all levels.
“We started with a very good position and gradually developed contacts at all levels, including the highest, Ministerial. We are also developing cooperation in the field of culture, economy, military sphere,” the Ambassador said.
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According to him, Japan introduced sanctions had a negative impact on the contacts. “In particular, the visit of foreign Minister of Japan (by Fumio Kishida) in Russia was postponed for more than a year and a half,” said the Ambassador. “However, the second half of this year showed that Russia and Japan needed bilateral meetings at the highest level, and they met in new York and Antalya. We appreciate it,” said Afanasiev.
“We continue to negotiate on the issue of a peace Treaty, despite the differences in our positions. We have a big job next year in this direction”, – concluded the Ambassador of the Russian Federation.
The easing of the visa regime
Afanasiev also noted that Russia is prepared to mitigate the visa regime with Japan, including the cancellation of visas.
“Russia is ready to soften the visa regime with Japan and even its abolition. We’re working on it,” he said. According to him, tourism is an important area of bilateral cooperation, but the level of tourist traffic between the two countries is not so high. According to statistics, every year in Japan attracts about 60 thousand Russian tourists. About the same number of Japanese visits Russia.