The following is the gist of Japan-Russia joint press conference on the two-plus-two ministerial meeting between their foreign and defense ministers.
Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida: During the Japan-Russia ministerial meeting, we affirmed that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will visit Russia in late April to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin. With regards to joint economic activities, we will deepen our discussions on topics such as narrowing down the number of projects and formulating the necessary legal foundation. At the Japan-Russia two-plus-two dialogue, we discussed Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile programs. We will demand the North refrain from engaging in further provocative actions and abide by the United Nations Security Council resolutions.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov: We expressed concern that there is a lingering bloc approach to security in the Asia-Pacific region. The U.S. deployment of a ballistic missile defense program poses a significant risk to regional stability. The UNSC resolutions must become a tool for getting North Korea to enter dialogue.
On the Ukraine issue, we agreed on the thorough implementation of the Minsk agreement. We discussed visa-free interactions between Russians and Japanese in Sakhalin and Hokkaido.
Japanese Defense Minister Tomomi Inada: Japanese and Russian defense authorities agreed that they will continue working-level talks, exchanges between the Russian military and the Japanese Self-Defense Forces, and joint search-and-rescue operation drills.
Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu: We have provided Japan with detailed intelligence on Syria. We have presented Japan a proposal calling for its cooperation in post-conflict reconstruction and recovery efforts.
Kishida: Advancing Japan-Russia ties on various fronts, including security, will have a positive influence on bilateral negotiations on a peace treaty. We conveyed Japan’s concerns about the deployment of ground-to-ship missiles and a new military division.
Lavrov: The two-plus-two mechanism is not for addressing the peace treaty issue, but it does contribute to improving Japan-Russia ties.
Shoigu: We deployed military divisions to three regions inside the country. This is not an operation targeting a third country.