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Japan’s Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida is holding talks with his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, in Tokyo on Monday.

Kishida told Lavrov that he wanted to discuss a range of issues with an eye on Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s proposed visit to Russia at an early date this year.

Lavrov replied he believes cooperation in joint economic activities is a key step in creating an environment appropriate for signing a peace treaty between the 2 countries.

In December, Abe and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed to begin negotiations on a special system to conduct economic activities on 4 Russian-controlled islands claimed by Japan.

Later on Monday, Japan’s Defense Minister Tomomi Inada and her Russian counterpart, Sergei Shoigu, are set to join the foreign ministers at the so-called “2-plus-2” meeting.

Security issues in Asia and the Pacific, including North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs, are believed to be on the agenda.

Japan apparently wants to use the current talks to deepen mutual understanding with Russia, and create an environment to promote talks on the peace treaty and the territorial dispute.(NHK News)


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