Unofficial visit to Russia by Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda
Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda paid an unofficial visit to Russia on April 25-27.
- Prime Minister Fukuda has established personal relationship through frank exchange of views including on the peace treaty issue with President Putin and President-elect Medvedev.
- Both sides have agreed to promote cooperation and policy coordination on the issues to be discussed at G8 Hokkaido Toyako Summit, including the post-Kyoto framework on climate change.
- On the peace treaty issue, both sides agreed that, in order to elevate bilateral relations to a higher plane, they would continue negotiations to find a mutually acceptable settlement based on the documents to which both parties had agreed, and that both leaders would give instructions again for this purpose.
- Both sides have agreed to advance mutually profitable cooperation in strategically important areas for both countries, including cooperation in Russian Far East and Eastern Siberia, and to deepen policy coordination in the Asia-Pacific region, based on the increasing interest of Russian side in the region. Especially, both sides have welcomed the beginning of the first joint exploration of oil fields in Eastern Siberia.
- Based on these results of the meetings, both sides have agreed to continue talks on how to materialize cooperation towards the coming bilateral summit meeting in July.
1. Japan-Russia Summit Meeting
April 26, 2008, Prime Minister Fukuda had talks with his counter-part President Putin in Novo-Ogarevo (the official residence of President Putin) for about two hours including working lunch. This is the first time that Prime Minister of Japan was invited to the official residence. As a result, both leaders have agreed on the following points:
(At the last part of the meeting Prime Minister Fukuda offered a visit to Japan to President Putin, who stated that he loved Japan and would visit the country with pleasure.)
Both leaders have agreed to elevate bilateral relations to a higher plane so that Asia-Pacific region could enjoy stability and prosperity. Therefore they have agreed to have dialogue between leaders more often and make preparations well for a bilateral summit meeting on the occasion of Hokkaido Toyako Summit in July.
In addition, both leaders have agreed to advance cooperation and policy coordination on the main agenda of Hokkaido Toyako Summit.
(2) Peace Treaty Issue
Prime Minister Fukuda pointed out that concrete progress of the negotiations was indispensable to elevate the Japan-Russia relation to a higher plane. In response, President Putin stated that Russian side would further continue negotiations based on discussions accumulated to date and that he would like overall progress of bilateral relations to achieve development of the negotiations.
Then both leaders agreed on necessity of progress of the negotiations to lift up Japan-Russia relationship to a higher plane. They also agreed to further continue talks, including between two leaders, to find a mutually acceptable settlement of the issue based on the documents to which both parties had agreed.
(3) Cooperation in wider range of fields
Both leaders have exchanged views on the future direction of mutually profitable cooperation as the Russian side increases interest towards the Asia-Pacific region, and have agreed to strengthen policy coordination between Japan and Russia in the region.
With this view, both leaders have had talks on realization of the "Initiative for the Strengthening Japan-Russia cooperation in the Far East Russia and Eastern Siberia".
- (a) Both leaders have agreed to realize mutually profitable cooperation especially in such strategic fields as energy including oil, gas, and nuclear energy, as transport including revitalization of the logistics route through the Trans Siberian Railways, and as environment.
- (i) In this connection, both leaders have welcomed the launch of the first joint exploration for oil fields in Eastern Siberia. Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Cooperation (JOGMEC) and a Russian oil company agreed on their joint mining in Irkutsk oblast, which could be a model case for promotion of construction of the "East Siberia - Pacific" pipeline towards the Pacific Ocean.
- (ii) Both leaders have also agreed to cooperate for success of the APEC Summit in Vladivostok in 2012. In this regard, President Putin mentioned that Russia was interested in cooperation with Japan in the field of development of infrastructure.
- (iii) Both leaders have agreed to consider possibility of cooperation under the mechanism of Kyoto Protocol and in the field of energy conservation and environmental technology. They have also agreed on policy coordination on the post-2012 framework of climate change.
- (b) Both leaders have agreed to make every effort to expand human exchange drastically, especially youth exchange. In detail, they have agreed to increase the number of youth exchange up to approximately 500 people a year, which is 5 times as many as before.
(4) International affairs
(a) North Korea
Both leaders have discussed the nuclear development of North Korea including the case of nuclear proliferation in Syria, and have agreed to cooperate to have a complete "declaration" through the Six-Party Talks process.
Prime Minister Fukuda requested President Putin that Russia should use its influence to North Korea on this issue including abduction, and President Putin have replied that Russia would further cooperate with Japan.
Both leaders have explained the current situation of the bilateral relations with China, and their policy to further develop their relations with China to each other. They have also pointed out the importance that China plays a responsible and constructive role in the international society.
Both leaders have exchanged views on international issues such as Central Asia, Iran, UN reform etc., and have agreed to strengthen cooperation.
2. Meeting of Prime Minister Fukuda and President-elect Medvedev
April 26, 2008, Prime Minister Fukuda held an one-hour meeting with President-elect Dmitry Medvedev at Maindolf Castle on the outskirts of Moscow. At the meeting, they mainly focused on the preparations towards G8 Hokkaido Toyako Summit. They also touched upon the issues Prime Minister Fukuda had discussed with President Putin.
As a result of the meeting they agreed upon the following points.
(1) Cooperation towards Hokkaido Toyako Summit
Welcoming attendance by President-elect Medvedev in Hokkaido Toyako Summit, Prime Minister Fukuda has explained his thoughts concerning the main agenda for the upcoming G8 summit. He has elaborated it mentioning how the G8 summit would be organized, and that the G8 leaders would discuss issues such as climate change, development and Africa, global economy, and political issues including nuclear nonproliferation. Mr. Medvedev responded that Russia would cooperate to make the G8 Summit successful.
Both leaders have agreed to promote cooperation and policy coordination with respect to the main agenda including climate change, in particular, the post-2012 framework, on which Japan and Russia have similar positions.
(2) Peace Treaty Issue
In order to elaborate relationship to a higher plane, both sides agreed to continue negotiations to find a mutually acceptable settlement based on the documents to which both parties had agreed, and to give instructions again to do it.
(3) Cooperation on wider range of fields
Both sides have discussed future direction of cooperation, for the purpose of elevating the relationship to a higher plane, and have agreed to realize mutually beneficial cooperation on wider range of fields.
(4) Global issues
Both sides have agreed to continue cooperation to settle the denuclearization of Iran and denuclearization and abduction of North Korea.
Back to Index