FOREIGN MINISTRIES OF RUSSIA, JAPAN HOLD CONSULTATIONS AHEAD OF JAPANESE MINISTER'S VISIT TO MOSCOW

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TOKYO, June 14 (RIA Novosti) - Deputy Foreign Ministers of Russia and Japan held consultations in the capital of Tokyo Monday. They agreed that the meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi ahead of the G8 summit in Georgia had given a new impetus to the relations between the two countries.

Alexander Alexeyev, the Russian Foreign Ministry's Ambassador-at-Large responsible for Asia and the Pacific Rim, met today with Ichiro Aisawa, State Secretary of Japan's Foreign Ministry, and with Hitoshi Tanaka, Deputy Foreign Minister of Japan.

Today's consultations set new orientation points for Russia and Japan in their cooperation between themselves and in the international arena, Mr. Alexeyev told RIA.

The sides discussed bilateral relations, specifically the agenda of the June 23-25 official visit to Russia by Japanese Foreign Minister Yoriko Kawaguchi (during her sojourn in Moscow, the date will be fixed for a return visit by the Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov). They drew up a road map of top-level and expert contacts in the run-up to President Putin's planned visit to Tokyo in early 2005. A whole number of bilateral agreements is to be prepared for the summit in order to bring Russo-Japanese relations to a qualitatively new level, Mr. Alexeyev said.

The sides also discussed options for signing a WWII peace treaty, held back by the still unresolved dispute over the Kurile Islands, reported the Russian Foreign Ministry's Ambassador-at-Large.

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