Japan-Russia Relations

September 25, 2019
Foreign Ministers shaking hands
Japan-Russia Foreign Ministers’ Meeting
Japan-Russia Foreign Ministers’ Meeting
On September 25 (local time), Mr. Toshimitsu Motegi, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, and Mr. Sergey Viktorovich Lavrov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, held their first Japan-Russia Foreign Ministers’ Meeting for approximately 45 minutes on the margins of the United Nations General Assembly session in New York. The overview of the meeting is as follows. 

1. Bilateral relations (including issue of concluding a peace treaty)

  • Minister Motegi expressed appreciation for the kind congratulations Minister Lavrov extended on the occasion of Minister Motegi’s appointment as Foreign Minister. Minister Motegi expressed his intention as Foreign Minister to engage in thorough consultations with Minister Lavrov, and also as persons responsible for the negotiations on the Japan-Russia peace treaty, including promoting The joint economic activities on the Four Northern Islands. In response, Minister Lavrov once again congratulated Minister Motegi on his appointment, and stated that the two ministers will build up solid relations and promote Russia-Japan relations.
  • The two ministers exchanged views on how to proceed with the consultations, including the negotiations on the peace treaty. The two Ministers then shared the view on further deepening Japan-Russia relations in a wide range of areas, such as politics, including the issue of concluding a peace treaty, and economy.
  • Minister Motegi discussed cooperation toward realizing humanitarian measures for the former island residents, and Minister Lavrov indicated his continued intent to cooperate.
  • Regarding the joint economic activities on the Four Northern Islands, the two Ministers welcomed concrete actions in tourism and garbage disposal. Minister Motegi expressed his intention to cooperate to ensure that the pilot tour scheduled for next month is successfully undertaken and that it gives momentum to next steps.

2. Upcoming diplomatic schedule

  • It was noted that Minister Lavrov will visit Japan for the G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in November. In addition, in response to Minister Lavrov’s invitation for Minister Motegi to visit Russia, the two ministers shared the view on coordinating toward realizing an early visit.

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