The message reads, in part:
”Regional ties are an important and much-needed element of Russian-Japanese relationship. Covering as they do a wide range of fields, from economic cooperation to cultural exchanges and twin-city contacts, our close interregional relations help to build up the mutual understanding, trust and friendship between our peoples, and make our joint efforts to tackle specific social and economic problems more effective. It is very good to see that an ever increasing number of Russian regions, from one end of the country to the other, are becoming involved in this kind of cooperation.
I am sure that your meeting opening today will enrich the cooperation between Russia’s regions and Japan’s prefectures, and will contribute to our overall efforts to build a genuine partnership between our two countries – the goal that Prime Minister of Japan Yukio Hatoyama and I pledged to work towards.“
The President’s message was read out by Mayor of Moscow Yury Luzhkov.