Saturday morning’s Nikkei, Sankei, Mainichi, and Yomiuri reported on a meeting between Foreign Minister Kono and his Russian counterpart Lavrov in Munich, Germany, on Friday. The two ministers reportedly agreed to hold another meeting in Tokyo on Mar. 21. Sankei wrote that they are expected to exchange views on North Korea and joint economic activities in the Northern Territories. The two ministers are expected to lay the groundwork for PM Abe’s planned visit to Russia in May. Noting that President Putin is set to be reelected in the upcoming presidential race on Mar. 18, the paper said the Japanese side is hoping to move forward the talks on joint economic activities by holding a foreign ministerial immediately after Putin’s reelection. According to Sankei, Kono also lodged a protest against the Russian government’s release of a cabinet order to make a private airport on Etorofu Island serve as a dual-use airport. He also called for Russia’s understanding for the need to maximize pressure on North Korea.