Press statements following talks with Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe
President of Russia Vladimir Putin:
Mr Prime Minister, ladies and gentlemen,
We are happy to welcome such a representative delegation from Japan here at the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok for the second time. The impressive presence of our Japanese partners at the forum is becoming a good tradition.
This is a great opportunity to discuss the joint projects we are already implementing and map out new plans. I invited the Prime Minister of Japan to take part in another major international economic forum – the St Petersburg International Economic Forum in late May 2018.
Prime Minister Abe accepted our invitation. We also agreed to attend the opening of the reciprocal years of Russia and Japan together on May 26 in Moscow.
As for these talks, they were substantive and straightforward. Both sides demonstrated their desire to develop constructive cooperation in various areas.
I would like to note that recently we have managed to restore a number of mechanisms for Russian-Japanese political dialogue. In March our foreign and defence ministers resumed their consultations in the two-plus-two format.
The heads of our national security councils held talks before our meeting today. Mr Abe and I have agreed that the Chief of the Russian General Staff [Valery Gerasimov] and the Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Land Forces [Oleg Salyukov] will visit Japan soon.
Positive trends have been reported in our trade and economic cooperation. Mutual trade increased by almost 15 percent in the first six months of this year and reached $8.4 billion.
The structure of our bilateral trade is improving. The share of fuel and energy is decreasing in Russia’s exports to Japan, while the volume of foods and agricultural products, as well as non-ferrous metals and chemical goods, is increasing.
During our meeting, we highly assessed the eight-point cooperation plan that was proposed by Prime Minister Abe and the joint list of priority projects.
The Intergovernmental Commission on Trade and Economic Cooperation, the High-Level Group and the Advisory Council on Energy have been working effectively.
Russian and Japanese business activity will be boosted by the Convention on Avoiding Double Taxation, which we signed a short while ago.
Japan’s participation in the INNOPROM 2017 exhibition in Yekaterinburg as a Partner Country has produced practical results. We are looking forward to welcoming our Japanese partners at the INNOPROM exhibition next year.
I would like to say that Japanese companies make extensive use of the advantages of doing business in priority development areas. In April 2016, a greenhouse farm was launched in the Khabarovsk Territory jointly with JGC Evergreen and the Hokkaido Bank. Plans provide for buildings three more such complexes.
We are implementing the Sakhalin-1 and Sakhalin-2 oil and gas projects. We have built Russia’s first gas liquefaction plant, which exports the bulk of its products to Japan. Work is underway at Sakhalin LNG to build the third production line.
We are building up our cooperation in nuclear energy. We hope that the joint projects to clear up the consequences of the Fukushima accident will be coordinated by the end of the year.
Our talks with Mr Prime Minister also included discussions of a promising idea of direct railway communication between our countries. However, this calls for additional in-depth analysis.
We are promoting cooperation in education. We appreciate the activities of the Association of Russian and Japanese Universities, which has sponsored a Russian-Japanese student symposium, which is currently underway in Vladivostok.
Our cultural and humanitarian ties have grown stronger and are promoting the development of a positive atmosphere and mutual trust in bilateral relations. In June, Prime Minister Abe attended the opening of Russian Seasons in Tokyo. The 12th Festival of Russian Culture opened there in July. In November, Japan will attend the St Petersburg International Cultural Forum as a guest.
We are promoting sports cooperation. After the planned events end at Far Eastern Federal University, Mr Abe and I will attend the International Jigoro Kano Junior Judo Tournament and the ground-breaking ceremony for the Martial Arts Centre on Russky Island.
We also discussed the question of the peace treaty, including the possibility of joint economic operation on the South Kurils. Following the August 17 talks between our foreign ministries in Moscow, we have selected several promising projects that will be implemented as a priority. They concern above all cooperation in aquaculture, wind power, greenhouse farms, household waste recycling and package tours.
As agreed with Mr Prime Minister, this year the process for Japanese citizens to visit the burial sites of their relatives in the South Kurils was simplified as much as possible. Many of you know that, regrettably, the first direct flight for this purpose had to be cancelled due to bad weather. Now a similar trip is planned this month, and I hope the weather will not let us down this time.
Naturally, much attention at the talks was paid to the crisis on the Korean Peninsula. We discussed this issue during our September 3 telephone conversation and today continued this substantive discussion.
We strongly denounced the launch of the North Korean medium-range missile that flew over Japan on August 28 and the next nuclear test on September 3. We understand and share the concern of the Japanese side. Needless to say, by its actions Pyongyang is creating a serious threat to peace and security in the entire region.
I reaffirmed to the Prime Minister our position that the situation on the Korean Peninsula and, particularly, the nuclear issue can only be settled by political and diplomatic means.
To begin with, it is necessary to reduce the general tensions and then develop a dialogue between the interested parties as has been proposed, for example, in the Russian-Chinese roadmap for a step-by-step settlement.
On the whole, the talks with Mr Abe were meaningful and very useful, in particular for the further development of bilateral cooperation in many areas.
I would like to express my gratitude for this to Mr Prime Minister and all the members of the Japanese delegation.
Thank you for your attention.
Date: September 7, 2017
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