Japanese prime minister starts unofficial visit to Moscow

Other News Materials 26 April 2008 01:14 (UTC +04:00)

Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda has come to Moscow on a two-day visit. He will meet with Incumbent President Vladimir Putin and President Elect Dmitry Medvedev.

This is the first Russian visit of Fukuda in the capacity of the Japanese Prime Minister, a source at the Japanese Foreign Ministry told Itar-Tass . "The premier would like to establish a good personal relationship with the Russian leaders," he said. Another goal of the unofficial visit is preparations for the G-8 summit due in Hokkaido on July 7-9.

"Yasuo Fukuda attributes large significance to these issues. He would like to hold profound debates with the Russian leaders bearing in mind the similarity of Japanese and Russian positions. The premier plans to explain the essence of the Japanese suggestion of industrial limits on the discharge of greenhouse gases in each country and hopes to gain Russian support," the source said.

"It is also possible to discuss topical aspects of the bilateral relations, including the territorial problem," he said. Yet Fukuda will not put the emphasis on the problem of the South Kurils, he added.

The premier will explain the Japanese initiative of cooperation with Russia in the development of East Siberia and the Far East. "For instance, it is a question of bigger interaction in the provision of regional stability and energy and transport partnership," the source said.

"Despite serious differences, the sides continue dialog on the peace treaty. The Russian side has many times emphasized its readiness for the patient and calm negotiations on the basis of the general understanding that the solution of the territorial problem can be only mutually acceptable," a high-ranking Kremlin source told Itar-Tass.

The Japanese premier also wishes to raise the question of the possible Pyongyang assistance to the Syrian nuclear problem.

Relations with Japan "are a priority of the Russian foreign policy," the Kremlin source said. "The Action Plan approved in January 2003 remains the roadmap of the Russian-Japanese cooperation," he said. This document "defines key areas of the bilateral cooperation on the way to the constructive partnership, namely, the political dialog, the negotiations on the prospective peace treaty, the international cooperation, trade and economic contacts, relations in law enforcement and defense, and deeper cultural and humanitarian exchanges," he said.

The sides will discuss further high-level political contacts, including preparations for a meeting of the Russian president and the Japanese premier on the sidelines of the G-8 summit, the source said.

"Bearing in mind the Japanese chairmanship of the G-8, the meetings with Fukuda will focus on the summit content, including international issues," the source said.

"It is planned to hold traditional discussions of world economic issues and regional problems. The Japanese chairmanship [at the G-8] implied monthly preparatory events, such as meetings of sherpas and political directors held in February-April, the ministerial development conference held in April, the business forum held in April, the non-proliferation meetings of experts held in February-April and others. There were regular bilateral consultations, as well," he said.

Fukuda will meet with Russian students who are learning the Japanese language. He will depart for Tokyo on Saturday evening.