Japan-Russia Relations

Japan-Russia Summit Meeting on the Occasion of the United Nations General Assembly

September 29, 2015
Japanese

On September 28, Mr. Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan, held a summit meeting with Mr. Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, President of the Russian Federation, during his stay in New York to attend the United Nations General Assembly.
This summit meeting was the 11th meeting with President Putin for Prime Minister Abe including those during the first term of the Abe Administration.
The meeting added up to approximately 40 minutes, with a 30 minute meeting followed by 10 minutes between only Prime Minister Abe and President Putin, with just the interpreters in attendance.

1. Main Points of the Meeting

In this Japan-Russia summit meeting, frank and wide-ranging discussions were held in an close atmosphere regarding the future of the Japan-Russia relationship including the negotiations for the conclusion of a peace treaty.
The leaders shared the common understanding on the following points.
(1) Seek progress in the negotiations regarding the territorial issue to create a solution acceptable to both sides.
(2) Continue dialogue between the two leaders by holding summit meetings, utilizing the occasions of G20 and APEC meetings.
(3) Continue to look for the best timing for President Putin’s visit to Japan based on the common understanding reached between the two leaders on the occasion of the APEC meeting last November. The situations in Ukraine and Syria were also discussed.

2. The following exchange was made between the two leaders.

(1) Overall bilateral relations

President Putin stated that there had been progress in Japan-Russia relations recently and opportunities for contacts between the two countries had been increasing in many areas, and that although there was a declining trend in the trade volume, there was potential for improving the relationship between Japan and Russia, and pointed to various areas of bilateral cooperation. He also expressed his appreciation of the Japan-Russia Foreign Ministers Meeting and the Japan-Russia Intergovernmental Committee on Trade and Economic Issues held last week on the occasion of Minister Kishida’s visit to Russia, and reconfirmed that the negotiations for the conclusion of a peace treaty would be held on October 8.
Prime Minister Abe stated that his desire to achieve President Putin’s visit to Japan at the best timing remained unchanged. He explained that he would like to prepare results for President Putin’s visit to Japan in the political area centering on the negotiations for the conclusion of a peace treaty and in economic and other areas, which should be moved forward in a constructive and quiet environment. He also stated that Minister Kishida had visited Russia last week and conducted a review of the Japan-Russia economic relationship at the Japan-Russia Intergovernmental Committee on Trade and Economic Issues with First Deputy Prime Minister Shuvalov and held detailed discussions with Foreign Minister Lavrov regarding the negotiations for the conclusion of a peace treaty, specifically the territorial issue, and reached a common understanding to conduct negotiations for the conclusion of a peace treaty at the vice minister level on October 8. Prime Minister Abe also stated that it was necessary to make progress in the negotiations for the conclusion of a peace treaty on the basis of the agreement between the two leaders in April 2013.

(2) Future dialogue between the two leaders

Prime Minister Abe expressed his desire to conduct a frank exchange of opinions including the issue of the conclusion of a peace treaty, utilizing opportunities at international meetings such as the G20 and APEC in November.

(3) The situation in Ukraine

Prime Minister Abe stated with regard to the situation in Eastern Ukraine that the ceasefire agreement had been maintained for the most part since September 1 and that he hopes that results would be achieved at the October 2 summit under the Normandy format, and expressed his strong hope that Russia would continue to play a constructive role towards the full implementation of the Minsk Agreements.
President Putin stated that the Ukrainian side must also firmly comply with the Minsk Agreements, and asked Prime Minister Abe to convey that point to President Poroshenko at the meeting to be held later.

(4) The situation in Syria

Prime Minister Abe stated that stabilizing the situation in Syria, from which refugees were flowing out, was extremely important. President Putin responded that the spreading of terrorism was the most serious issue, and explained Russia’s efforts aimed at eliminating terrorism.