Seiji Maehara: Japan held parliamentary elections in September this year which saw the Democratic Party lose some seats in the Japanese parliament. But if we exclude from the votes in support of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), currently in power, the votes for another party, Komeito, which supported the LDP, then the balance between the LDP and the Democratic Party remains unchanged. Looking at the results in this way, the LDP really increased its vote by only 1.3 times. In Japan, it is the voting in the single-seat districts that is a decisive factor in the outcome of elections, and the situation can change. It is my great hope, therefore, that you personally will cooperate actively and maintain contact with the representatives of Japan’s largest opposition party.
Vladimir Putin: Mr Maehara, it is a pleasure to meet with you and make your acquaintance. We in Russia want to build constructive relations with all the different political forces. Our position is that the future of Russian-Japanese relations is so important for both the Russian and Japanese peoples that it should be based on the broad support of all political forces, both in your country and in mine.
I am very happy to have this opportunity to meet with you and to exchange views on the current state of our bilateral relations and the prospects for their development.