Lavrov, in Moscow to meet with foreign Minister of Japan

Лавров в Москве встретится с главой МИД Японии

Minister of foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation and Japan, Sergei Lavrov and Fumio Kishida will make Saturday the final touches to the planned 15 December visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin to Japan will hold talks in Moscow.

On the eve of the head of the Japanese foreign Ministry was received by President of Russia Vladimir Putin. Kishida conveyed to the Russian leader Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe. Putin, in turn, handed the Minister a letter to the head of the Japanese Cabinet. Putin said that Moscow is continuing work on the implementation of proposals to expand economic cooperation of the Russian Federation and Japan, which was made by Abe.

Thus, the visit of the Japanese Minister to Russia will sum up the series of bilateral contacts in the past year. It is expected that during Putin’s visit to Japan will be signed about 30 documents.

In early September, on the sidelines of the Eastern economic forum in Vladivostok held three-hour talks between Putin and Abe. One outcome of the meeting was the announcement of the timing of Putin’s visit to Japan. This was a significant breakthrough in relations, given that the visit was postponed in 2014. After a meeting in Vladivostok, the leaders held talks on the sidelines of the APEC summit in Peru.

On the road to peace

The agenda of Saturday’s talks in Moscow at the level of heads of foreign ministries of the two countries is quite vast. The Russian foreign Ministry said that they expect to spend with our Japanese partners thorough discussion “of the range of issues of mutual interest”. So, among other things, according to the Japanese Minister, Moscow and Tokyo agreed to prepare a Memorandum on cooperation in the field of cybersecurity. In addition, as told RIA Novosti Deputy foreign Minister of Russia Igor Morgulov, Russia and Japan prepare agreements in the spheres of energy, industrial cooperation and high technologies.

However, perhaps the greatest interest to observe a negotiating process will follow the progress on the disturbing relations between Moscow and Tokyo, the issue of a peace Treaty, which after the Second world war and was not concluded. Japan claims the Islands of Etorofu, Kunashiri, Shikotan and Habomai, referring to bilateral Treatise on trade and borders of 1855. The return of the Islands Tokyo made it a condition of signing a peace Treaty. The position of Moscow consists that southern Kuriles became part of the Soviet Union at the end of the Second world war and the Russian sovereignty over them has the appropriate international legal formalization.

As told RIA Novosti the representative of the Japanese Ministry of foreign Affairs Masato Osaka, Putin and Kishida at a meeting in St. Petersburg touched on the issue of a peace Treaty. On the eve of the Moscow meeting on the Ministerial level Morgulov told RIA Novosti that although the issue of a peace Treaty will be affected, but in-depth discussion on this problem are planned. In any case, according to the Russian diplomat, Russia’s position on this issue has not changed: Tokyo need to recognize the end of the Second world war.

Possible solution?

After lasted for decades of “stagnation” began to be talk about possible ways of solving the territorial problem: the media write about the idea of joint economic activities between the two countries on the four Islands the southern Kurils. After talks with the Japanese leader in Peru on the sidelines of the APEC summit Putin said that he discussed with his Japanese counterpart that can be shared to make in the Kuril Islands, and the dialogue will continue at the level of ministries of foreign Affairs.

The Russian President said that Russia and Japan are seeking ways to conclude a peace Treaty, it is the desire need to maintain on the basis of increasing trust. “I want to stress again: Russia and Japan — we sincerely want a peace Treaty, are looking for ways how to do it. That is an old approach that is a new approach, I don’t know. I know only one thing: that it is the desire of need to support in every possible way”, — said Putin.

Abe, in turn, said that, in his view, the policy solution to the territorial problem “has begun to emerge”. “But we need to move step by step, to overcome the mountain. To move one big step — not so easy, but I want to securely move forward step by step,” said Japanese Prime Minister.

Earlier, Kishida also explained that, in General, in Tokyo not exclude the possibility of joint economic activities on southern Kuriles, however, “it is extremely important not to harm the legal status of our country.”

However, no one expected a path to a peace agreement will be easy. Special test for claims to the southern Kuril Islands of Japan was the placement of coastal missile systems (DBK) “Ball” on the island of Kunashir and “Bastion” on the island of Iturup.

The Secretary-General of the Cabinet of Ministers of Japan Acehide Suga called the move “unacceptable”. Tokyo protested and conveyed his regret over diplomatic channels. The Russian foreign Ministry, for its part, explained that the placement was of routine nature and is aimed at strengthening the country’s defense.