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Gist of Japan-Russia summit meeting, Dec. 15

Following is the gist of the Japan-Russia summit meeting on Dec. 15:

 

Opening remarks

 

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe: I am truly pleased to be able to welcome President Putin in my hometown (in Yamaguchi) on his first visit to Japan as the Russian president in 11 years. I promise that the fatigue from the summit meeting will be fully remedied by the hot spring.

 

President Vladimir Putin: I hope this summit meeting will contribute to the development of bilateral relations. As you said, the hot spring will alleviate fatigue, but it would be even better not to get too tired.

 

Security

 

Abe: With the security environment becoming increasingly harsh in North Korea and Asia-Pacific, it is important for Japan and Russia to engage in candid exchange of views on security issues of mutual concern.

 

Abe, Putin: We would like to resume the two-plus-two meetings of foreign and defense ministers.

 

Abe, Putin: We agreed on the need to resume the two-plus-two.

 

Putin: We are concerned about a U.S.-led missile defense system.

 

Abe: This will not pose any threat to the neighboring countries and the region.

 

North Korea

 

Abe: It is important to enforce the UN Security Council resolutions strictly. We would like to cooperate with Russia. We remain determined to resolve the abduction issue and would like to cooperate with Russia in finding a solution.

 

Putin: In addition to putting pressure on North Korea, it is necessary to draw the DRPK into the Six Party Talks (on North Korea’s nuclear issues).

 

Northern Territories issue

 

Abe, Putin: We engaged in intensive discussions on the negotiations for a peace treaty, including the Northern Territories issue. We will also discuss joint economic activities and free travel for the former islanders under a special system on the four Northern Islands.

 

Abe: I delivered letters from the former inhabitants of the Northern Territories to Mr. Putin.

 

Putin: I read the letter written in Russian.

 

Abe: We are concerned about further deterioration of the humanitarian situation in Syria. We strongly urge a constructive response.

 

Putin: We support President Assad who was elected through an election. We are willing to make efforts toward a solution through dialogue with the U.S. and others.

 

Abe: We hope for constructive responses from all countries concerned in the Ukraine issue.

 

Putin: The Ukraine government is refusing to meet its political obligations. The concerned nations need to make vigorous efforts.

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