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Putin meets Japanese FM in St. Petersburg


12-03-2016 10:28 BJT

Japan’s Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida has met Russian President Vladimir Putin in Saint Petersburg. The meeting comes just weeks before Vladimir Putin visits Japan. Kishida will also meet his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, during his two-day visit. CCTV's Julia Lyubova reports from Moscow.

Japan’s Foreign Minister, Fumio Kishida, is in Russia for final preparations for a meeting between Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Their meeting is due to take place in Japan on 15th and 16th December. Both Russia and Japan are hoping to make progress on a decades-long territorial dispute.

The dispute is over the Kurils, an island chain that runs between Russia’s Kamchatka Peninsula and Japan’s northern island of Hokkaido.

The Soviet Union occupied the 4 southernmost islands at the end of the Second World War. As a result of the dispute the two countries never signed a peace treaty to formally end the war.

There have been rumours about some kind of a compromise between Moscow and Tokyo, with a possible breakthrough expected during Putin’s visit. But the two countries are looking to improve their economic ties too.

Earlier this week, in his annual state of the nation address, Vladimir Putin welcomed Japan’s ‘plans to develop economic ties with Russia’.

Bilateral economic cooperation is likely to be discussed during the Japanese Foreign Minister’s visit to Russia this week and a later meeting between Russian and Japanese leaders.

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