President Vladimir Putin: Let me warmly welcome you to Moscow. First of all, I want to point out that over the past two or three years we have managed to qualitatively change the nature of our relations. The dialogue on a peace treaty continues and we are creating the necessary conditions to make progress in this area. We are in constant contact at the highest political levels. Ministers, representatives of parliament, Prime Ministers and the President participate continuously in various activities related to the development of Russian-Japanese relations.
The volume of our trade and economic ties has grown fivefold since 2003. There has been a substantial increase in Japanese investment in Russia. Japan’s most important manufacturers are coming to Russia to invest in factories and to build major enterprises in Russia.
We are well aware that we have still many unsolved problems. This makes us all the happier to meet with you and your colleagues, Mr Prime Minister, and to continue discussions related to all areas of our cooperation. Welcome!
Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda (as translated): First of all, I want to say that I am very glad to see you, Mr President.
I promised you that we would meet during your term of office and I have fulfilled that obligation.
As you just said, we have recently been involved in political dialogue and improving our cooperation, and Japanese-Russian relations are developing in their turn.
I think that your role in the development of these relations has been an important one, and I would like to thank you personally for all that you have done.
I should point out that we have made plans for two summits: today's meeting and the G8 summit in July in Hokkaido. I would like to use these meetings to establish personal relations based on mutual trust with the leaders of the Russian Federation. Taking advantage of the positive momentum that we established, I would like to give additional impetus to further expanding our bilateral relations in all fields. I also look forward to your cooperation in making the forthcoming G8 summit in Toyako (Hokkaido) a success.
I believe that by raising Japanese-Russian relations to a higher level we will be able to establish a relationship that will contribute to the prosperity and stability of the Asia-Pacific region. It is to this end that we would like to extend Japanese-Russian cooperation in the region.