(dpa) - Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda decided to visit Russia next week, after cancelling trips to European nations partly due to parliamentary deliberations on taxes, Chief Cabinet Secretary Nobutaka Machimura said Wednesday.
Fukuda was initially expected to visit Group of Eight (G8) member states in Europe early May, ahead of the Toyako summit in July in northern Japan.
But he decided to give priority to domestic politics where Fukuda's ruling coalition of Liberal Democratic Party and the New Komeito may need to hold another vote on a controversial tax bill in the lower house. The bill aims to restore higher gasoline and other road-related tax rates this month.
Fukuda plans to visit Russia on April 25-27, to meet with outgoing President Vladimir Putin and President-elect Dmitry Medvedev, if the Diet approves the tax legislation, Machimura said.
On the agenda at the bilateral talks are the territorial dispute, climate change, and peace and security in the North-east Asian region, Machimura said.