Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe is in Russia at the Russian President’s invitation.
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President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Prime Minister, friends. Let me warmly welcome you to Sochi and Russia.
Japan is not only Russia’s neighbour but also our very important partner in Asia Pacific.
In view of the ongoing developments in politics, trade and the economy, there are issues that should be given priority attention. It is probably in light of this that we should focus more on developing our relations and maintaining them at a high level.
Mr Prime Minister, we see your visit as an opportunity to work together on issues of mutual interest.
Welcome to Russia.
Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe (retranslated): The warmth of this wonderful city, Sochi, reminds me of my meeting with you in 2014.
As I recalled the beautiful sights of Sochi, I looked forward to our meeting today, our first meeting with you since November last year. I am happy to be able to meet with you today.
Since the summit meeting last September, our bilateral relations have actively moved forward. This April, Minister [of Foreign Affairs Fumio] Kishida met with Mr Lavrov, who is also present here today, and I was told that their meeting was productive in terms of preparing our meeting in Sochi today.
Moreover, we have not just held productive talks at the UN General Assembly and G20 but also talked on the phone. I greatly appreciate such contacts.
Today I would like to have a frank exchange of opinions with you on bilateral political issues, including the signing of a peace treaty and issues pertaining to diplomacy, the economy and culture, as well as current international issues facing our countries and the rest of the world.