"We are working on the agenda of the visit," Igor Shuvalov said. "This is bilateral work, which also depends on the Japanese side. If the visit takes place it should be only positive, not routine."
"The visit will take place as soon as we are ready to can guarantee that it will happen at the appropriate level," he added.
Japan is demanding that Russia return the so-called Northern Territories (four Southern Kuril islands), which the Soviet Union allegedly seized in 1945 after World War II.
Russia acknowledges there is a territorial problem with Japan but rejects the ultimatum. It proposes settling the territorial dispute on the basis of the 1956 declaration. In this case, Russia would cede two of the islands to Japan as a goodwill gesture after the conclusion of a bilateral political treaty on friendship.