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Russian and Japanese Senior Lawmakers To Discuss Bilateral Ties

Oct. 31, 2016 (EIRNS)—Valentina Matviyenko, Speaker of Russia’s Federation Council, is leading a Russian delegation in Tokyo to meet with Japanese leaders and the heads of both houses of the Japanese National Diet to discuss bolstering bilateral relations and preparations for the December visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin to Japan.

"The main issues on the agenda of the meetings with that country’s leadership and Japanese lawmakers were efforts to boost bilateral relations and expand cooperation in all areas,"

said the press service of Russia’s Federation Council, the upper house of the Federal Assembly, Russia’s bicameral legislature.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said during a debate in the House of Representatives, the lower house of the National Diet, that as a member of the G7 group, Japan will maintain sanctions against Russia over Ukraine and Crimea, but he highlighted the importance of developing relations with Russia, particularly emphasizing economic relations.

"We believe that developing economic ties with Russia is beneficial not only for Russia but for Japan as well." He added that Japan and Russia "had been facing an abnormal situation for over 70 years that needed to be solved," referring to the absence of a peace treaty and also the problem of the "Northern Territories," as Japan refers to Russia’s Southern Kuril Islands.

The Japan Times reported on Oct. 29 that Japan and Russia are considering setting up a working group that includes Japanese and Russian governmental bodies and Japanese high-technology companies to improve living conditions in Russian cities to upgrade public transport and waste disposal facilities, sources close to the matter said. The proposal emerges as the two countries work on an eight-point economic cooperation package that Abe had proposed to Putin in May. In discussion is a pilot project in the southwestern city of Voronezh, which has a population of about 1 million, and expanding to other regions, according to unnamed sources cited by the Japan Times.

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