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LDP deputy head Komura meets with Russian State Duma speaker

  • 2016-01-14 15:00:00
  • , Yomiuri
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(Yomiuri: January 14, 2016 – p. 4)


 By Muneyuki Matsushita


 MOSCOW – Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) Vice President Masahiko Komura, who is now visiting Russia, held talks with Sergei Naryshkin, who is the speaker of the State Duma and an aide to President Vladimir Putin, in Moscow. During the talks, Komura called for an early realization of a summit meeting between Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and President Putin to find ways to resolve the Northern Territories issue. Since Abe is considering a visit to Russia in spring, Komura was apparently making arrangements for Abe to visit Russia as “a special envoy.”


 At the beginning of his meeting with Naryshkin, Komura said, “It is desirable to conduct not only government-to-government diplomacy, but also a broad range of exchanges by parliamentary members and political parties of the two countries.” Naryshkin disclosed his plan to visit Japan in June, saying, “I hope to contribute to the expansion of the exchanges by parliamentarians of the two countries.” After the meeting, Komura told reporters: “We agreed that a relationship between the two top leaders is important for the two countries (Japan and Russia). In his meeting with Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Jan. 12, Komura delivered a letter from Abe to Putin.


 Believing that progress would only be made on the territorial issue through summit talks, Abe was hoping to arrange a visit to Japan by Putin. However, Putin’s visit has been postponed due to the Ukraine and Syria issues. As a result, the situation is at an impasse.


 The idea of Abe visiting Russia is now being considered an alternative. Putin is proposing a provincial city as the venue for a summit. Abe hopes to realize the summit before the G7 Summit (Ise-Shima Summit) in May. (Slightly abridged)

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