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    PUTIN TO MEET WITH CO-CHAIRMEN OF RUSSIAN-JAPANESE COUNCIL OF WISE MEN

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    MOSCOW, April 14 (RIA Novosti) - On Wednesday Vladimir Putin will meet with the co-chairmen of the Russian-Japanese Council of Wise Men - Moscow mayor Yuri Luzhkov and ex-Prime Minister of Japan and deputy of the house of representatives of the Japanese parliament Yoshiro Mori.

    As a high-placed source in the Kremlin administration told RIA Novosti, Luzhkov and Mori are expected to inform the president of Russia of the main results of the first meeting of the Council of Wise Men in Moscow.

    The Council of Wise Men is an altogether new format of a bilateral unofficial dialogue whose members are authoritative representatives of political elite, the business community and the creative intelligentsia of Russia and Japan. The accord on establishing it was reached in the course of Vladimir Putin's meeting with Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi in Bangkok in October 2003.

    "Russian-Japanese relations in the past few years have been characterized by increasing activity of the political dialogue and by the deepening of mutual understanding," the agency's interlocutor said. "Yoshiro Mori has made a weighty positive contribution to this process." Suffice it to say that as a Japanese prime minister (2000-2001) Yoshiro Mori met with Vladimir Putin six times, the source pointed out. In addition, they met in Moscow in January 2002 and in June 2003.

    Russia's president has already signed a decree on awarding Yoshiro Mori with the Order of Friendship for his great contribution to the development of Russian-Japanese international cooperation. "It is planned that Putin will present this high award to Mori on April 14," the agency's interlocutor went on to say.

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