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Putin Visit a Historic Step Forward for Japan-Russia RelationsSatō Masaru

Prime Minister Abe Shinzō hosted Russian President Vladimir Putin on December 15 and 16 at a summit that saw the two leaders agree to begin talks on joint economic activities in the Northern Territories. Media reports in Japan have generally portrayed the talks as having failed to resolve the bilateral dispute over islands off Hokkaidō, but former diplomat and Russian expert Satō Masaru considers the summit an important step forward for Japan-Russia relations.
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Abe Hopes to Visit Russia Early Next Year (News)

Tokyo, Dec. 20 (Jiji Press)—Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzō Tuesday expressed his wish to visit Russia early next year to hold a summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin again. "We have no other way than directing the territorial issue to a solution while shaping a vision of a win-win future," Abe said in a speech at a conference hosted by the Research Institute of Japan, a Jiji Press a…
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Japan, Russia Agree on Large-Scale Economic Cooperation (News)

Tokyo, Dec. 16 (Jiji Press)—Japan and Russia signed economic cooperation agreements in a wide range of fields on Friday that involve massive economic assistance from Japan to Russia. The agreements, based on an eight-point economic cooperation plan proposed by Japan, cover 12 intergovernmental and 68 private-sector programs. The number of private-sector programs is nearly double the initially p…
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Japan, Russia to Begin Talks on Joint Activities on Disputed Isles (News)

Tokyo, Dec. 16 (Jiji Press)—Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzō and visiting Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed Friday that the two countries will launch talks on conducting joint economic activities on four northwestern Pacific islands at the center of their territorial dispute in a way that does not undermine their legal positions on the issue of a peace treaty. While details of the econo…
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Japanese Economic Cooperation with Russia Seen Reaching ¥300 Billion (News)

Tokyo, Dec. 16 (Jiji Press)—Japanese economic cooperation with Russia under an eight-point proposal made by Prime Minister Abe Shinzō in May is seen totaling some ¥300 billion covering over 60 projects, it was learned on Friday. The envisioned cooperation was discussed on the day at a working session of a Japan-Russia business conference in Tokyo on the sidelines of a two-day bilateral summit i…
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Japanese Gift to Putin Sparks Akita Dog Boom in Russia (News)

Moscow, Dec. 16 (Jiji Press)—The Akita, a large breed of dog originating from Japan, is rapidly gaining in popularity in Russia, after President Vladimir Putin's pet dog sent as a gift from Japan in 2012 came under the spotlight. The latest Akita boom was sparked by a video of a Japanese media interview with Putin ahead of his two-day visit to Japan for talks with Prime Minister Abe Shinzō this…
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Abe, Putin Discuss Joint Activities on Disputed Islands under Special Framework (News)

Nagato, Yamaguchi Pref., Dec. 15 (Jiji Press)—Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzō and visiting Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday discussed the possibility of the two countries jointly conducting economic activities on four disputed northwestern Pacific islands "under a special framework." During their five-hour talks at a hotel in a hot spring resort in the city of Nagato, Yamaguchi P…
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No Deadline for Solving Islands Issue with Japan: Putin Aide (News)

Moscow, Dec. 13 (Jiji Press)—Yuri Ushakov, an aide to Russian President Vladimir Putin, indicated Tuesday Moscow's unwillingness to fix a deadline for resolving the issue of a Japan-Russia peace treaty including the territorial dispute over four Russia-held northwestern Pacific islands. Speaking to reporters of Russia's ITAR-Tass news agency and other media outlets, Ushakov said he believes it …
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Timeline for May 2016

US President Barack Obama visits Hiroshima, the Group of Seven summit is held in Mie Prefecture, and Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors enter a capital alliance. Look back on the major Japan news stories of May 2016.
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Signs of Progress in Sochi? Abe-Putin Summit Points to Economic Cooperation, Territorial ResolutionSatō Masaru

On May 6, Prime Minister Abe Shinzō met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in the Russian resort town of Sochi. At a closely watched meeting described by US President Barack Obama as a potential threat to G7 unity, the leaders discussed economic ties and the question of the Russia-occupied Northern Territories. Russian affairs and intelligence specialist Satō Masaru gives his take on the summit and what it could hint at.
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