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Russia and Japan: relations between countries have reached the trajectory of sustainable development
The arrival of S. Abe in Sochi on the "Day of the Northern Territories" (February 7 - editor's note) did not affect the fruitful nature of the meeting. In Japan, it was also not perceived from an anti-Russian position: no one believed that S. Abe was going to Russia to demand the return of the “northern territories”. "Northern Territories Day" is held annually in Japan, and this time, as noted by the press, it passed more calmly than usual. Our embassy did not observe significant demonstrations, the ultra-right did not even use loudspeakers to announce their demands to return the "northern territories". The meeting dedicated to this day, at which S. Abe spoke, was also held in a calm, intimate atmosphere. There was no excitement two or three years ago.
In addition, the dialogue has become more intense. Negotiations of deputy ministers, including on the conclusion of a peace treaty, are held regularly - on January 31, 2014, the third round of these talks took place in Tokyo.
A new dialogue has begun in the format "2 + 2", within the framework of which consultations are held between the Foreign and Defense Ministers. The first meeting was held at the suggestion of the Japanese side in November 2013 in Tokyo. Earlier, Japan held a dialogue in this format only with the allied states - the US and Australia.
V.Putin also noted the growth of trade turnover, which for 2013 year was 6% and already exceeded the mark of 30 billion dollars. Moreover, according to him, the positive movement is observed both from Russia and from Japan.
At the meeting, a number of agreements were reached not only to continue the dialogue, but also to intensify it. In 2014, the leaders intend to meet at least two more times: S. Abe will arrive in Sochi for the G8 summit in June, and V. Putin agreed to make an official visit to Japan in October-November of this year. In addition, the Japanese Foreign Minister will arrive in Moscow in April; at the same time a meeting of the intergovernmental commission on economic issues will be held.
In March, a large forum will take place in Tokyo, 2014, which will be attended by Russian economic ministers and business leaders. They will discuss, together with Japanese partners, specific issues of cooperation that were identified during S. Abe’s visit to Moscow in April 2013. Four main areas were highlighted: energy, agriculture, medicine and ecology. All of them are related to the development of cooperation in the regions of Siberia and the Far East, in which Japan is strongly interested. Now we can say that relations between our countries are developing steadily, and this cannot but cause satisfaction.
Completely interview Alexandra Panova “Nationalism in Japan - a Barrier to the Development of Relations with Russia?” Was published on the portal of the Russian Council on International Affairs.