Senior Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Tetsuro Yano's Visit to the Far Eastern Region of the Russian Federation

September 2003

Senior Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Tetsuro Yano visited Khabarovsk, a City of the Far Eastern region of the Russian Federation, from 16 to 17 September and held talks with Mr. Pulikovskii Konstantin Borisovich, Presidential Plenipotentiary Representative to the Far Eastern Federal District of the Russian Federation and Mr. Ishaev Victor Ivanovich, Governor of Khabarovsk Region.

1. Overview of the Meeting with Presidential Plenipotentiary Representative Pulikovskii

(1) General Japan-Russia Relations

Senior Vice-Minister Yano noted that Japan places great importance on the Far Eastern region of the Russian Federation which could be understood by the visit by Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi in January as the first prime minister of Japan to visit the Far Eastern region, followed by Foreign Minister Yoriko Kawaguchi visiting Vladivostok in June and Senior Vice-Minister Yano's own visit to Khabarovsk. Japan considers it important to realize potentialities in the Far Eastern region, and in combination with which to conclude a peace treaty through resolving the unsettled territorial issue between Japan and Russia.

(2) Pacific Pipeline

Senior Vice-Minister Yano noted that in regard to the Pacific Pipeline Project connecting Angarsk and Nakhodka, there is an impression that discussions by experts have progressed and that cooperation between Japan and Russia has materialized. Senior Vice-Minister Yano asked for the support of Presidential Plenipotentiary Representative Pulikovskii, stating that the project is one that has political and economic rationalities for both Japan and Russia, In response, Presidential Plenipotentiary Representative Pulikovskii noted that the Angarsk-Nakhodka route is a project that will develop Japan-Russia relations and that he positively perceives the progress of this project. Mr. Pulikovskii noted that this project has political and economic rationality and that he maintains the same position as Japan and will make utmost efforts for the realization of the Nakhodka route.

(3) North Korea

Senior Vice-Minister Yano noted that the six-party talks held earlier marked an historical step forward. Japan is working for a comprehensive resolution to the three issues of nuclear weapon development, missiles and abduction of Japanese nationals. Japan, with cooperation from Presidential Plenipotentiary Representative Pulikovskii who has recently visited North Korea, seeks the cooperation of Russia in older to resolve these issues including the abduction. In response, Presidential Plenipotentiary Representative Pulikovskii noted that Russia has a full understanding of the issues that exist between Japan and North Korea and that Russia is satisfied that the six-party talks were realized and that each country attending the talks was able to clarify its own position. On the other hand, he noted that North Korea is expressing a certain level of dissatisfaction over the six-party talks. Furthermore, Presidential Plenipotentiary Representative Pulikovskii noted that he had raised the issue of abduction at various past meetings with General Secretary Kim Jong Il and had indicated the importance of resolving the issue. He pledged that at every given opportunity to meet with General Secretary Kim Jong Il and other North Korean leaders, he would continue to raise those issues and work towards solving issues that concern Japan.

2. Overview of the Meeting with Mr. Ishaev, Governor of Khabarovsk Region

Senior Vice-Minister Yano noted the importance of the development of Japan-Russia relations including the need for concluding a peace treaty through resolving the territorial issue, as well as the need to develop relations with the Far Eastern region of the Russian Federation including the Khabarovsk region, upon which Japan places great importance. He also noted the significance of the Pacific Pipeline Project which is currently being discussed between Japan and Russia. In response, Governor Ishaev noted that he holds the same view on the importance of Japan-Russia relations and the relation between the Far Eastern region of the Russian Federation and Japan. With regard to the Pacific Pipeline Project, he realizes that this project is both economically and politically important. As the governor of Khabarovsk, Governor Ishaev stated that he strongly supports the Angarsk-Nakhodka route with other Far East provincial governors and offered cooperation for the realization of this route.


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