A Russian parliamentary delegation to be led by Gennady Seleznyov, the speaker of the State Duma /the lower house of the Russian parliament/, will pay an official visit to Japan on December 2-6, 2002.
Seleznyov said that during a meeting with Tamisuke Watanuki, the visiting speaker of the Japanese House of Representatives.
Talking to journalists after the meeting, the Japanese parliamentarian said Japan and Russia have lately stepped up their political relations, "especially those at the level of foreign ministers." "We have reached an agreement that the Japanese premier will pay an official visit to Russia at the end of 2002," Watanuki added.
According to him, his talks with Seleznyov focused on the signing of a peace treaty between Russia and Japan. "It deals with the territorial problem," said the Japanese speaker. "What we talked about is that the issue must be discussed at the level of parliamentarians, as well as at the level of governments." The speaker said he hoped Russia and Japan would go on strengthening their relationship.
On his part, Seleznyov confirmed that the territorial problem had surfaced during the talks. "The subject is being actively discussed in Russian and Japanese societies," he said. "We have informed the Japanese side of the way we see this problem."
The choice of the city of Helsinki is not incidental as the capital of Finland had hosted US-Soviet negotiations on the limitation of nuclear stockpiles in 1969