06:45 GMT +322 February 2019
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    The plane of Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe at Pulkovo Airport, St. Petersburg

    Japanese Lawmakers Sure Russian Upper House Speaker's Visit to Boost Relations

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    The visit of Valentina Matvienko, the speaker of the upper house of the Russian parliament, to Japan will help boost the development of bilateral relations, and the inter-parliamentary cooperation may contribute to the Japan-Russia political rapprochement, Chuichi Date, the president of the House of Councillors of the National Diet of Japan, said.

    TOKYO (Sputnik) — On Monday, Matvienko arrived in Japan for a four-day visit. The official is expected to hold a meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

    "I understand that an intensive dialogue in the Japan-Russia relations is being held by our governments, including by our leaders, Prime Minister Abe and President [Vladimir] Putin. And your visit is organized on this background. I am sure that this visit will boost further development of the bilateral relations," Date told reporters on Tuesday.

    Date noted that Japan and Russia had had several unresolved issues since World War II.

    "Our governments are primarily engaged in these issues. At the same time, I believe that the lawmakers are able to contribute and to create conditions that would facilitate the solution of these issues," Date added.

    Japan and Russia never signed a permanent peace treaty after World War II due to Tokyo's claims to four Russian islands, the Southern Kurils: Iturup, Kunashir, Shikotan and Habomai. The islands, located in the Sea of Okhotsk, were claimed by Soviet forces at the end of the war.

    The relations between the two states have recently been re-energized. In September, Abe took part in the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok, during which he held three-hour talks with the Russian president. One of the outcomes of the meeting was the announcement of Putin's visit to Japan on December 15, which had been postponed from 2014.


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