Japan-Russia Foreign Ministers' Meeting on the Occasion of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Ministerial Meeting
(Overview of Results)

photo(Foreign Minister Machimura and Foreign Minister Lavrov) photo(Japan-Russia Foreign Ministers' Meeting)

November 17, 2004

On November 17 (local time), Minister for Foreign Affairs Nobutaka Machimura held a meeting with Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov. The following is an overview of the meeting.

This was the first meeting between Foreign Minister Machimura and Foreign Minister Lavrov. It was part of the preparation for President Putin's visit to Japan scheduled for early 2005.

1. Future political agenda

(1)The two ministers agreed that they would continue to make adjustments for the future political agenda via diplomatic channels, including deciding a date for President Putin's visit.

(2)The two ministers agreed that President Putin's visit should be substantial and successful and that it was important for both ministers to fully prepare for the visit. In this respect, the two ministers concurred that they would visit each other's countries, as part of the preparation leading up to President Putin's visit to Japan (the dates will be coordinated through diplomatic channels in the future).

2. Northern Territories issue

(1)The two ministers agreed that the Northern Territories issue concluding a peace treaty through the solution of was in the interests of both sides.

(2)Foreign Minister Machimura stated that the year 2005 was an important year that marks the 150th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries. Foreign Minister Machimura expressed his hope to work steadily on the Northern Territories issue and peace treaty, among others, toward President Putin's visit to Japan, scheduled to take place during this year 2005.

(3)Regarding the comments made by Foreign Minister Lavrov and President Putin which were reported just before the meeting, Foreign Minister Lavrov explained that Russia, as the legal successor of the former Soviet Union, was obliged to implement the Japan-Soviet Joint Declaration of 1956.

Foreign Minister Machimura reiterated that it was vital to conclude a peace treaty through the solution of the Northern Territories issue in accordance with the Tokyo Declaration on Japan-Russia Relations.

Foreign Minister Lavrov appeared to be fully aware of the content of the Tokyo Declaration.

3. Other areas

With President Putin's visit to Japan in mind, the two ministers agreed to accelerate preparations in a wide range of areas including energy and counter-terrorism in accordance with the Japan-Russia Action Plan.

4. International issues

The two ministers agreed to cooperate closely within the framework of the United Nations Security Council, taking into account that Japan will become a non-permanent member of the Security Council next year.

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