Vladimir Putin will probably visit Japan in 2004, Sergei Prikhodko, the deputy head of the Kremlin administration, announced after the Russian president's meeting with ex-Japanese Premier Yoshiro Mori.
According to Prikhodko, the ex-premier gave Putin a message from the current Japanese Premier Junichiro Koizumi, in which the latter touched on a number of topical bilateral problems, thanked him for the warm welcome in St. Petersburg, and praised the celebration of the city's 300th anniversary. He also invited Vladimir Putin to Japan. "The visit was tentatively slated for 2004," Prikhodko said.
The deputy head of the Kremlin administration reported that the Japanese business circles were also expecting a visit by Russian Premier Mikhail Kasyanov.
Apart from that, the co-chairmen of the Russian-Japanese Commission on Trade and Economic Cooperation are scheduled to meet on June 28-30, Prikhodko added, saying that the Russian president had told Mori he hoped the meeting would help "work out the details of a number of projects, including those dealing with pipelines." Putin and Mori had been dwelling on "the continuation of expert work on a peace treaty," he said.
Among international issues, they had discussed the situation on the Korean Peninsula, "in the light of the North Korean nuclear program in the first place." Prikhodko pointed out that Putin and Mori had established a trustful relationship. The Tuesday meeting was in fact their eighth rendezvous.
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