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    Vladimir Putin, Russia's president, and Shinzo Abe, Japan's prime minister, arrive for a working lunch at the prime minister's official residence in Tokyo, Japan, on Friday, Dec. 16, 2016.

    Russia's Putin, Japan's Abe to Meet in Osaka in Late June - Lavrov

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    TOKYO (Sputnik) - The summit between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will be held in late June in the Japanese city of Osaka, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Friday.

    Lavrov and his Japanese counterpart Taro Kono are holding bilateral talks in Tokyo on Friday. Before being joined by their delegations, the two ministers spent more than half an hour talking tete-a-tete.

    "I am sure — and hope that today's talks will confirm this — we have something to report to the president and the prime minister when they meet in late June in Osaka," Lavrov said at the beginning of the talks with his Japanese counterpart.

    On Thursday, the Russian and Japanese foreign and defence ministers held talks in the so-called 2+2 format. Despite voicing disagreements over Russia's military activities in the disputed southern Kuril islands, the diplomatic and military chiefs of the two countries noted productivity of the negotiations and reaffirmed mutual desire to further develop bilateral cooperation on security.

    READ MORE: 7 Things to Know About Kuril Islands Dispute Ahead of Putin-Abe Talks

    Earlier in May, the Japanese Foreign Ministry said that Tokyo and Moscow were still discussing a possible venue and date for the Putin-Abe summit, with the meeting expected to take place around the time of G20 summit in Osaka, which is scheduled for June 28-29.

    Meanwhile, Taro Kono said that positive changes in Tokyo's relations with Moscow had been emerging.

    "Despite the fact that only [several] weeks have passed since our previous meeting, some positive shifts in Japan-Russia relations have been emerging," Kono said at beginning of the talks.

    The Japanese diplomat also welcomed the enhancement of bilateral contacts in various areas at different levels.

    "Minister Lavrov, I would like to have frank discussions with you regarding the issue of signing a peace treaty, including joint economic activities on the four Northern Islands, taking into account the Japan-Russia summit in June," Kono said.

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    Vladimir Putin, Shinzo Abe, Japan, Russia
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