TOKYO, November 20 (RIA Novosti) - Russian President Vladimir Putin, who arrived in Japan on an official visit Sunday, said he was confident that Russian-Japanese relations would develop positively, and expressed his hope that both countries would solve the remaining bilateral problems.
Putin said this year marked 150 years since Russia and Japan first established bilateral relations, and that next year the two countries would celebrate 50 years since they restored bilateral diplomatic relations (the Soviet-Japanese joint declaration of 1956).
"During these years, many events have taken place in our joint affairs, but with a few exceptions, Russia and Japan have treated each other with great respect," Putin said.
Putin expressed the hope that both countries would be able to build relations based on friendship, understanding, and mutual respect to resolve all unsettled issues.
The Russian president said it was in the countries' mutual objective interests to develop bilateral relations.