"The implementation of the economic projects of the eight-point plan shows that the mutual trust between our states’ leaders… has developed into strengthening of economic ties," Seko said, addressing Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak, who arrived on an official visit to Japan earlier in the day.
Abe presented an eight-point bilateral economic plan during his Sochi visit in May 2016, during which time he also met with the Russian president. The plan covers such areas as oil and gas development, and the modernization of ports and airports in the Russian Far East.
On March 20, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu visited Tokyo to hold "2+2" format consultations with their Japanese counterparts Fumio Kishida and Tomomi Inada. These talks were aimed at discussing bilateral and regional issues amid a thaw in Russian-Japanese relations.
Relations between Russia and Japan have long been complicated by the fact that the two nations have never signed a permanent peace treaty after World War II ended. This was due to a disagreement over the group of islands, which Russia calls the Southern Kurils and Japan the Northern Territories, which consist of four territories: Iturup, Kunashir, Shikotan and Habomai.