Japan-Russia Relations

November 22, 2019
(Photo 1) Foreign Ministers greeting each other
(Photo 2) Foreign Ministers shaking hands
(Photo 3) Japan-Russia Foreign Ministers’ Meeting
On November 22, Mr. MOTEGI Toshimitsu, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, and H.E. Mr. Sergey Viktorovich Lavrov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, held their second Japan-Russia Foreign Ministers’ Meeting for approximately 45 minutes, on the margins of the G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Nagoya. The overview of the meeting is as follows.

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

  • At the outset, Minister Motegi highly appreciated the realization of the pilot tour to the Four Northern Islands, and stated his intention to steadily implement each of the agreement reached at the leader’s level, thereby realizing the potential of Japan-Russia relations. Furthermore, Minister Motegi said that he will exert every effort  to further develop relations as Foreign Minister. Minister Lavrov stated that he wishes to further strengthen Japan-Russia relations in a broad range of fields, and to develop good-neighborly and friendly relations.
  • The two ministers exchanged views on how to proceed with the consultations, including the negotiations on the peace treaty. They appreciated the success of the pilot projects for joint economic activities on the Four Northern Islands and shared the view to hold discussions towards conducting full-fledged projects from next year.
  • Regarding humanitarian measures for the former island residents, Minister Motegi expressed his gratitude for the cooperation by the Russian side, including the realization of grave visits by airplane for three successive years. Minister Lavrov indicated his continued intent to cooperate.
  • Minister Motegi stated that, as the Japanese Co-Chair of the Intergovernmental Committee on Trade and Economic Issues, he intends to advance overall economic relations, and to materialize, particularly the ‘‘Far East’’ projects of the Eight-point Cooperation Plan, in coordination with the relevant ministries and agencies. Minister Lavrov also expressed his intent to provide adequate cooperation.

2. Upcoming diplomatic schedule

  • The two ministers shared the view that, if circumstances permit, Minister Motegi will visit Moscow in mid-December, and  hold a foreign ministers’ meeting, to discuss  bilateral issues, with a focus on the issue of concluding a peace treaty, among other matters.

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