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    Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at their meeting held on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Beijing, November 9, 2014

    Putin, Abe Praise Closer Ties Between Russia, Japan, Positive Dialogue

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    Russian President Vladimir Putin and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe praised a marked rise in contacts between the two countries since the leaders’ last meeting in September.

    ANTALYA (Sputnik) — Since the UN General Assembly, the countries have seen a good deal of bilateral activity, Putin said at a joint press conference with Abe on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Antalya.

    "Contacts continue across many economic spheres, although trade volumes have seen significant losses," Putin said.

    "But Japanese companies, which have invested around $12 billion in the Russian economy… they are interested in working together, and we want to support them in this whatever it takes," the Russian president continued.

    Prime Minister Abe confirmed that Russian-Japanese contacts had been on the rise. "Our dialogue is useful," Abe added. "I would like to work on our bilateral relations together with Vladimir Vladimirovich," he said.

    The Japanese prime minister offered condolences to the people of Russia over the crash of a Russian airliner in Egypt two weeks ago that killed all 224 people on board, most of them Russians.

    Putin, Abe Agree to Set Date for Russian President’s Visit to Japan

    Russian President Vladimir Putin and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe have agreed to continue diplomatic talks on the Russian leader’s future visit to the island nation, the president’s spokesman said.

    "Vladimir Putin and Shinzo Abe have agreed to continue discussing the time frame of the visit via diplomatic channels so that it could take place in foreseeable future," Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

    The spokesman added that "Putin said he would love the Japanese prime minister to visit one of Russian regions."

    The leaders spoke Sunday on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Antalya, Turkey. They discussed Russian-Japanese cooperation within the UN Security Council framework, where Tokyo is a non-permanent member.

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