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Chief of Staff of the Presidential Executive Office Sergei Naryshkin met with Japanese Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara

February 12, 2011, The Kremlin, Moscow

Mr Naryshkin received Japanese Minister of Foreign Affairs Seiji Maehara, who is in Moscow on a working visit.

In light of the long-term interests of Russia and Japan, the Russian side stressed the importance of the dynamic and progressive development of bilateral relations, and their taking on the characteristics of a genuine partnership. In this regard, Russia drew the Japanese Foreign Minister's attention to the fact that active joint efforts are necessary to implement the agreement reached between Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan in Yokohama in November 2010. The agreement concerns the comprehensive development of Russian-Japanese relations in key areas such as trade and economic cooperation, cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region, and coordination in the international arena more broadly. The Russian party emphasised that this approach is much more promising than artificially stirring up emotions around the so-called territorial issue, as the Japanese party did just recently.

It was noted to the Japanese Foreign Minister that discussions concerning a peace treaty, including border delimitations, should be carried out alongside shaping the Russian-Japanese partnership. However, recent public statements by Tokyo about visits by Russian leaders to the Southern Kuril Islands and histrionic repetitions of unfounded territorial claims, coupled with unacceptable anti-Russian manifestations by nationalist actors in Japanese society could not but trigger a pertinent Russian reaction.

No doubt, the President and other Russian officials have visited and will continue to visit any regions of the Russian Federation, including the Kuril Islands as this is part of a large-scale effort to promote socioeconomic development in these areas, improve the living standards of Russian citizens, and enhance the country's security.

With regard to statements by official representatives of Japan mentioned above, the Russian Chief of Staff of the Presidential Executive Office noted that such an approach has only resulted in the fact that continuing to discuss the territorial issue is now meaningless. The Russian side is still ready to discuss a peace treaty without preconditions and one-sided historical hang-ups.

Russia highlighted the need for the decisive revitalisation of joint Russian and Japanese work in a positive bilateral agenda. Mr Naryshkin noted the desirability of actively discussing ways to intensify trade, economic and investment cooperation. This includes holding a roundtable in 2010 in Russia, as initiated by Seiji Maehara, with the participation of the heads of government agencies in charge of economy and the leaders of both countries' business communities.

Sergei Naryshkin also stressed the importance of deepening dialogue on ways to further practical cooperation in the field of security in the Asia-Pacific region, further expanding cultural and humanitarian exchanges, including holding the annual festival of Russian culture in Japan which starts on July 2, 2011. As chairperson of the organising committee, Sergei Naryshkin confirmed his intention to participate in the festival's opening in the city of Hakodate.

The conversation was held in a businesslike and constructive atmosphere.

February 12, 2011, The Kremlin, Moscow