Japan-Russia Relations

July 7, 2017
photo1: Japan-Russia Summit Meeting (Photo: Cabinet Public Relations Office)
photo2: Japan-Russia Summit Meeting (Photo: Cabinet Public Relations Office)

 On the occasion of the G20 Hamburg Summit, Mr. Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan, and H.E. Mr. Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, President of the Russian Federation, held a Japan-Russia Summit Meeting for the 18th time for approximately 50 minutes (a plenary session lasting approximately 35 minutes and a tête-à-tête meeting lasting approximately 15 minutes)

1. Northern Territories issue

  • The leaders held in-depth discussions centered on the issue of concluding a peace treaty in the tête-à-tête meeting.
  • The leaders confirmed and welcomed that the outcomes of the Summit Meeting in Moscow in April are being steadily achieved. The discussions took place based on the common understanding that deepening trust between the two countries through steady efforts towards the achievement of the items agreed to in December 2016 will lead to the conclusion of a peace treaty.

(1) Joint economic activities on the Four Northern Islands
(i) The leaders confirmed that the local research by the joint public and private research team sent to the four islands at the end of June had been very meaningful and would lead to accelerating future deliberations.
(ii) The leaders agreed to hold vice-ministerial consultations in Moscow in late August. Based on the findings from the local research, and in the lead-up to the Summit Meeting in September, discussions will be held towards substantiating projects including discussions on the legal framework that will become necessary in the future.

(2) Facilitating visits by former residents to the Four Northern Islands
(i) Regarding the special grave visit by former island residents by airplane that was not achieved in June due to bad weather condition, the leaders commended that both sides had made full preparations towards its realization. The leaders agreed to coordinate in order to realize the special grave visit at an appropriate time in September.
(ii) The leaders also discussed access for the former residents to the areas in the islands that have been closed.

  • Prime Minister Abe conveyed Japan’s position regarding Russia’s decision to establish “territories of priority development” (Территории опережающего развития, TOR) on the Four Northern Islands.

2. Issues of North Korea

  • Prime Minister Abe emphasized that it is necessary to strengthen pressure on North Korea, which is pressing forward with nuclear and missile development, disregarding international calls against it. Prime Minister Abe urged Russia to play an even bigger role.
  • President Putin stated that he fully understands Japan’s concerns and explained that Russia is also urging North Korea to cease activities that are contrary to the nuclear non-proliferation regime.

3. U.S.-Russia relations

  • Prime Minister Abe stated that cooperation between the United States and Russia is essential for resolving various international issues and welcomed the thorough discussions that took place between them.

4. Economy

  • The leaders discussed the latest progress concerning the projects that have been discussed so far including the eight-point cooperation plan.

5. Future political dialogue

  • The leaders confirmed that they will hold another meeting when Prime Minister Abe visits Russia on the occasion of the Eastern Economic Forum to be held in Vladivostok in September.

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