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Japan, Russia to fix Koizumi-Putin talks at G8 summit

01.01.70

Text of report in English by Japanese news agency Kyodo
Tokyo, 6 April: Japan and Russia agreed in sub-cabinet-level talks in Tokyo on Thursday [6 April] to arrange a summit meeting between Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi and President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the Group of Eight [G8] summit in St Petersburg in mid-July, a Japanese Foreign Ministry official said.
The two leaders are expected to discuss a bilateral dispute over a group of Russian-held islands off Hokkaido, the official said.
Japan and Russia have long been divided over the sovereignty of Kunashiri, Etorofu, Shikotan and the Habomai islet group, known in Japan as the Northern Territories and in Russia as the southern Kurils. The island row is a major sticking point preventing them from concluding a peace treaty.
The Japanese and Russian representatives also agreed to arrange meetings of Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Aso and his counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, Russian Security Council Secretary Igor Ivanov and Russian Defence Minister Sergey Ivanov, on the sidelines of the G8 foreign ministerial meeting in late June, the official said.
They also agreed to start arranging the visits of Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov and the Russian defence minister to Japan, the official said.
Japan was represented in Thursday's meeting by Tsuneo Nishida, deputy foreign minister, and Russia by Aleksandr Alekseyev, deputy foreign minister who is also Russia's chief delegate to the multilateral nuclear negotiations to resolve North Korea's nuclear ambitions.
In a separate meeting, Alekseyev and Kenichiro Sasae, director-general of the Japanese ministry's Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau and Japan's chief delegate to the six-party talks, agreed to work towards resuming the stalled six-party talks at an early date, ministry officials said.

Expert opinion

Halter Marek

02.12.06

Halter Marek
Le College de France
Olivier Giscard dEstaing

02.12.06

Olivier Giscard dEstaing
COPAM, France
Mika Ohbayashi

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Mika Ohbayashi
Institute for Sustainable Energy Poliy
Bill Pace

02.12.06

Bill Pace
World Federalist Movement - Institute for Global Policy
Peter I. Hajnal

01.12.06

Peter I. Hajnal
Toronto University, G8 Research Group