Most papers gave front-page play to Tass and Interfax reports saying that Russian President Putin’s aide Ushakov told Russian reporters on Aug. 30 that Putin will visit Japan in December and that Moscow and Tokyo have agreed on the schedule. The Russian official added that Putin will discuss with Abe the agenda for his visit to Japan during their scheduled talks in Vladivostok on Sept. 2. Mainichi conjectured that the official’s disclosure of the timeframe for Putin’s visit to Japan is aimed at gaining as much economic cooperation as possible from Tokyo by demonstrating Moscow’s positive position on strengthening ties with Japan ahead of the Abe-Putin meeting in Vladivostok.
Meanwhile, Asahi wrote that it has learned from a GOJ source that the Japanese and Russian governments are making final arrangements for President Putin to make an overnight trip to Japan in December and hold talks with Abe in his home prefecture of Yamaguchi. The paper speculated that the premier is hoping to make progress on Russo-Japanese negotiations on the Northern Territories by deepening his relationship of trust with the Russian leader.