RUSSIAN-JAPANESE COUNCIL OF SAGES TO MEET IN APRIL

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MOSCOW, March 26, 2004. (RIA Novosti). Russia and Japan will hold a meeting of the so-called Council of Sages in April 2004, the Japanese embassy in Moscow said on Friday.

Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov and former Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori are the co-chairmen of the council.

The decision to set up the Council of Sages was taken by Russian President Vladimir Putin and Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Thailand in October 2003.

According to the two leaders, the council should be a compact structure comprising several outstanding public figures capable of introducing new ideas of economic, humanitarian and scientific cooperation.

Earlier this week Vladimir Putin awarded Mr. Mori with the Order of People's Friendship.

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