23:18 GMT +324 February 2018
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    December 15, 2016. Russian President Vladimir Putin and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, left, meet in Nagato, Yamaguchi Prefecture.

    Style and Pomp: Putin, Abe to Blend Business, Pleasure During Nagato Talks

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    Nagato, a small city in Yamaguchi prefecture on the Japanese island of Honshu having just a little more than 35,000 residents, is in the global spotlight today as the first round of talks between the Japanese and Russian leaders unfold there.

    The place where the talks will be held is the Otani Sanso Hotel, where Russian President Vladimir Putin is staying the night on December 15. The president and the other members of the Russian delegation have been offered suites covering 139 square meters in the Otodzure pavilion of the hotel. It includes a luxurious living room, cozy bedrooms, and a terrace with a lovely outdoor hot spring.

    According to the hotel’s manager Keiichiro Furutani, the members of Imperial family stayed there a good many time, as well as high-ranking politicians and well-liked celebrities.

    The Otani Sanso Hotel was built in 1881 and thoroughly renovated in 1960. The place is also famous for its hot springs which first were discovered by Buddhist monks over 600 years ago. 

    Police officers stand guard near the venue of the summit meeting between Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Russian President Vladimir Putin, that will take place on December 15, in Nagato, Yamaguchi prefecture, Japan, December 14, 2016
    © REUTERS/ Toru Hanai
    Police officers stand guard near the venue of the summit meeting between Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Russian President Vladimir Putin, that will take place on December 15, in Nagato, Yamaguchi prefecture, Japan, December 14, 2016

    A table for the hotel’s very important guests will be set today in the evening in traditional Japanese Kaiseki style using local produce. The dinner will start with an aperitif followed by seasonal appetizer, sashimi, Japanese beef on the grill, and fried Fugu puffer fish. Local Koshihikari rice is also on the menu.  

    After the dinner the two leaders are to continue the talks while enjoying a hot spring bath in the open air with a perfect view of a traditional Japanese garden. After that, they are to follow their way to the observatory where telescopes are installed. There they will exchange opinions on the territorial issue while sipping cocktails mixed in a bar especially for them as they feast their eyes on the glorious night sky.

    A woman walks past a banner showing Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Senzaki station in Nagato, Yamaguchi prefecture, Japan, December 14, 2016
    © REUTERS/ Toru Hanai
    A woman walks past a banner showing Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Senzaki station in Nagato, Yamaguchi prefecture, Japan, December 14, 2016

    In the morning on December 16 they will travel to Tokyo to continue the talks at the Prime Minister’s residence in a working breakfast format where the representatives of business circles have been invited. There the papers will be signed and a joint press-conference will be hold. 

    Further, the program provides Putin and Abe’s speeches at the plenary session of the Russian-Japanese business forum. The visit of Russian president will be finished after the two leaders visit Tokyo Kodokan, the headquarters of the worldwide judo community, where they will meet a number of high-ranking guests including ex-prime minister Yoshiro Mori.

    The city of Nagato
    The city of Nagato
    Police officer stands guard near the venue of the summit meeting between Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Russian President Vladimir Putin, that will take place on December 15, in Nagato, Yamaguchi prefecture, Japan, December 14, 2016.
    © REUTERS/ Toru Hanai
    Police officer stands guard near the venue of the summit meeting between Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Russian President Vladimir Putin, that will take place on December 15, in Nagato, Yamaguchi prefecture, Japan, December 14, 2016.
    A woman walks in front of a sign board that reads Welcome Japan Russia summit meeting near a hot spring resort, the venue of the summit meeting between Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Russian President Vladimir Putin, in Nagato, Yamaguchi prefecture, Japan, December 15, 2016.
    © REUTERS/ Toru Hanai
    A woman walks in front of a sign board that reads "Welcome Japan Russia summit meeting" near a hot spring resort, the venue of the summit meeting between Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Russian President Vladimir Putin, in Nagato, Yamaguchi prefecture, Japan, December 15, 2016.

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    Tags:
    Russo-Japanese relations, meeting, visit, talks, diplomacy, Abe, Vladimir Putin, Japan, Russia
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