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Japanese Prime Minister Abe to Meet Russia’s Putin on APEC Sidelines: Reports

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Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will meet Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Beijing in November, a Japanese Foreign Ministry representative said Tuesday.

MOSCOW, October 7 (RIA Novosti) - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will meet Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Beijing in November, a Japanese Foreign Ministry representative said Tuesday.

The Japanese and Russian leaders have agreed to hold a meeting on the sidelines of APEC during a phone conversation, said Noriaki Ikeda, a representative of Japan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs as reported by Reuters. In September, Russian presidential aide Yury Ushakov also said that Putin may meet with Abe on the sidelines of the upcoming APEC summit.

President Putin is scheduled to visit Japan this fall, but the specific dates have not been set.

Since Abe entered office in 2012, he has held multiple summits with Putin aiming to improve economic relations and to resolve the Kuril Islands dispute. However, with the deterioration of the situation in Ukraine, Japan, along with the United States, the European Union and other members of the Group of Seven industrialized nations introduced sanctions against Russia over its involvement.

The Japanese sanctions are the softest of the G7 nations as Tokyo is seen as unwilling to ruin relations with Russia.

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