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Russia anticipates cooperation with new Japanese government

© RIA Novosti . Ruslan Krivobok / Go to the photo bankRussian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs - Sputnik International
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Russia is set for constructive cooperation with Japan's new government after the longtime opposition overwhelmingly won Sunday's parliamentary elections, the Russian Foreign Ministry said Monday.

MOSCOW, August 31 (RIA Novosti) - Russia is set for constructive cooperation with Japan's new government after the longtime opposition overwhelmingly won Sunday's parliamentary elections, the Russian Foreign Ministry said Monday.

"Moscow proceeds from the fact that the victory of the Democratic Party of Japan in the August 30 parliamentary elections is an expression of the will of Japanese voters, who supported the party's political program," the ministry said.

Yukio Hatoyama is due to become Japan's next prime minister after his Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) swept to victory in the elections to the lower house of parliament, ending the Liberal Democratic Party's almost continual grip on power since it was founded in 1955.

"The Russian side is ready to establish constructive cooperation with the new government of Japan, which is expected to be formed soon, in the interest of further development of Russian-Japanese relations, in particular, in trade and economic cooperation," the ministry said.

It also said that it welcomed the DPJ's intention to "establish a close confidential contact with Russia's leadership as soon as possible."

Konstantin Kosachyov, chairman of the State Duma Foreign Affairs Committee, said Monday that Russia's relations with Japan are unlikely to change significantly under Hatoyama.

He told RIA Novosti that Hatoyama's stance on the main thorn in Russian-Japanese relations - the south Kuril islands - will be the same as that of the outgoing premier, Taro Aso.

The four southern islands of the chain to the northeast of Japan were annexed by the Soviet Union after World War II. Tokyo's continued claim over the islands has so far prevented Russia and Japan from signing a formal World War II peace treaty.

Japan has been hard-hit by the global economic slowdown, with unemployment at a record high, sparking dissatisfaction with the Liberal Democratic Party.

Hatoyama has pledged a range of ambitious healthcare and education spending schemes, but analysts have warned the plans could further escalate the national debt.

 

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