Joshiro Mori has acknowledged that he likes working as a co-chairman of the Russo-Japanese Council of Wise Men.
During a Wednesday meeting with Vladimir Putin, Mr. Mori said that he viewed his work as one of the best posts he had held.
Mr. Mori recalled that the Council of the Wise Men has been set up as a key point in a Russo-Japanese action plan approved by the Russian and Japanese governments.
According to Mr. Mori, he had not asked Junichiro Koizumi to appoint him as co-chairman of the council, but when the Japanese premier asked him, he was glad to accept the role.
"I intend to make the greatest efforts to develop my relationship with Mr. Luzhkov," he said.
In his turn, Yuri Luzhkov said that it was "a great honor" to be co-chairman. He said that he believed the council was doing useful work, solving the most disparate tasks in Russo-Japanese relations in various areas.
According to him, the sides would not avoid discussing sensitive and difficult issues.
"We have begun work and will try to achieve results," Mr. Luzhkov said.
An explosion of household gas occurred in a nine-storeyed apartment building in the city of Shakhty, the Rostov region of Russia. The blast destroyed two storeys of the building