17:09 GMT +321 February 2019
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    Russia's President Vladimir Putin (center L) talks with Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (center R) at the start of their summit meeting in Nagato, Yamaguchi prefecture, Japan, December 15, 2016.

    Tokyo Stresses Importance of Developing Security Dialogue With Moscow

    © REUTERS / Toru Hanai
    Asia & Pacific
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    Meeting of the Russian and Japanese defense and foreign ministers in the so-called 2+2 format will be held in Moscow on Tuesday.

    Japan considers it important to develop security dialogue with Russia taking into account the North Korea issue, the Japanese Foreign Ministry's press service told Sputnik on Tuesday ahead of talks between the Japanese and Russian foreign and defense ministers in Moscow in 2+2 format.

    "It is important to continue dialogue in the area of security with our neighbor Russia. At the Japanese-Russian meeting 2+2 we want to have a constructive discussion from the point of view of mutual understanding between Japan and Russia focusing on regional security, including the situation surrounding North Korea," the press service said.

    According to the Russian Foreign Ministry, the sides are expected to discuss a further schedule of bilateral political dialogue, prospects for the development of trade and economic cooperation, implementation of the "cross" years of Russia in Japan and Japan in Russia, as well as cooperation in the international arena.

    The ministry also noted that separate talks between Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu with their Japanese counterparts were envisaged on the sidelines of consultations.

    Russia and Japan have taken steps to improve bilateral ties after decades of cooled relations over the Kuril Islands territorial dispute as well as a recent rift when Japan joined Western anti-Russian sanctions following Crimea's rejoining with Russia.

    The last bilateral "2+2" meeting took place in March 2017. The first bilateral "2+2" meeting took place in 2013 just before the outbreak of the Ukrainian crisis.

    Russian President Vladimir Putin and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe have held several rounds of talks on resolving the issue of the Kurils over the past two years. The two leaders agreed to create a special regime on the islands leading to the establishment joint economic projects.


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