"We should discuss the issue of the peace treaty and elaborate on economic cooperation plan amid positive trends in Japan-Russia relations and within preparations for [Japanese] Prime Minister [Shinzo] Abe's visit to Russia in late April. I want to hold a frank exchange of views on a wide range of issues, including international ones, and to discuss the North Korean problem, Syria and the situation in Europe," Sugiyama said at the beginning of the meeting.
The current round will make a significant contribution to the development of bilateral relations, and it reflects the positive dynamics of the Japan-Russia collaboration, Sugiyama noted.
The 13th round of strategic dialogue between Moscow and Tokyo follows the meetings between the Russian and Japanese foreign and defense ministers held in Tokyo on March 20.
Relations between Japan and Russia have recently re-vitalized, as in September 2016, Abe took part in the Eastern Economic Forum in Russia's Vladivostok, during which he held a three-hour talk with Russian President Vladimir Putin and presented the bilateral economic plan covering issues of cooperation in the sphere of gas, oil, aviation and port modernization.
In December 2016, Putin visited Japan and held a meeting with Abe. As a result, both sides agreed to begin developing economic cooperation in the disputed southern Kuril islands in order to create conditions for negotiations on a peace treaty between the countries.