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Putin indicates hope for stronger Japan-Russia relations in 2018 in New Year message to Abe

By Mikoto Hata in Moscow


The Russian government announced on Dec. 30 that President Vladimir Putin sent New Year’s greetings to world leaders. In his message to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Putin indicated his hopes for “greater trust and mutual understanding between Japan and Russia in 2018.”


Putin said he was “gratified” by the active political dialogue between the leaders of the two countries. He also welcomed Abe’s plan to visit Russia in May, since 2018 is the year of Japan-Russia exchanges. However, he did not mention the Northern Territories issue or the “joint economic activities” by the two countries. (Slightly abridged)

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