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    Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe

    Russia, Japan to Hold Ministerial Meeting Ahead of Abe’s Visit to Russia

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    The deputy foreign ministers of Russia and Japan will meet in February in order to prepare for a visit of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to Russia, planned for the spring of 2016, NHK TV reports.

    TOKYO (Sputnik) – Russian President Vladimir Putin met with Abe on the sidelines of the November 2015 G20 summit in Antalya, Turkey. According to Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, the sides discussed Putin's long-anticipated visit to Tokyo. Peskov also said that a visit by Abe to Russia was also possible.

    The exact time of Abe’s unofficial visit to Russia has not been determined yet, at it is not yet clear which Russian region the Japanese Prime Minister will chose as his destination.

    According to NHK, the details of Abe’s visit should be discussed at a February meeting between Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov and his Japanese counterpart Shinsuke Sugiyama.

    The deputy foreign ministers will also discuss the situation in Syria and Ukraine.

    Putin was due to travel to Japan in the fall of 2014, but the crisis in Ukraine and Moscow’s strained relations with the West caused the trip to be postponed. A visit was then planned for 2015, but the two sides never announced a set date.

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