By Keiichi Yamaguchi in Sochi, Russia
Following is the gist of the summit meeting between Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Russian President Vladimir Putin on May 6:
Abe: Let us break the impasse by negotiating vigorously with a new approach not bound by old ideas. Let the two (incumbent leaders) resolve this issue. It is important to take a global perspective into account and negotiate with a future-oriented approach in the process of resolving this issue. I agree with President Putin’s idea that we should engage in constant and uninterrupted dialogue. Let us hold senior working-level negotiations on the peace treaty in June.
Abe, Putin: We agree to negotiate vigorously with an approach based on new ideas in order to find a solution acceptable to both sides.
Putin: I would like to invite Prime Minister Abe to the Eastern Economic Forum to be held in Vladivostok in September. We will also be able to meet at the G20 and APEC summits.
Abe: We will hold meetings when we both participate in international conferences. I would like to attend the Eastern Economic Forum. We must refrain from statements and actions that will hurt the sentiments of the people of the other country if only to lay the groundwork for President Putin’s visit to Japan and to maintain a tranquil environment for negotiations on the territorial issue.
Abe, Putin: We will continue to consider an appropriate time for President Putin to visit Japan. We will step up political dialogue, including discussions on security.
Abe: I propose an eight-point plan for cooperation between Japan and Russia to fulfill their potential. We will come up with projects that will benefit the Russian people directly, as well as develop the Russian economy. The two of us will be able to deepen bilateral relations substantially if these plans are implemented. I would like to work for the dramatic development of bilateral ties with President Putin’s cooperation.
Putin: Excellent. I would like to implement these projects. We will support Japanese companies doing business in Russia even under a difficult political situation.
Abe: I called on Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to implement the ceasefire agreement without fail during his visit to Japan. We hope that Russia will also exercise its influence on the pro-Russian forces to improve the situation. We view North Korea’s nuclear tests and ballistic missile launches with grave concern.
Putin: A political solution is important for the Ukraine crisis. We are closely watching the Ukrainian government’s response. Japan and Russia agree on the North Korea issues. (Slightly abridged)