A representative delegation of Russian businessmen will visit Japan in February 2002. As president of the Japan Association for Promotion of Trade with Russia (ROTOBO) Tasuku Takagachi said in an interview with RIA Novosti, representatives of Russia's business elite will visit Japan in return to the visit of a numerous Japanese economic mission to Russia last June. The Japanese entrepreneurs who numbered 240, led by chairman of the Japan Federation of Economic Organisations (Keidanren) Takasaki Imai, visited Russia at the invitation of president Vladimir Putin. "We hope that the return mission of Russian businessmen will be useful for expansion and intensification of Russian-Japanese trade and economic cooperation," the head of ROTOBO said. Tasuku Takagachi noted that heads and top managers of private companies will form the backbone of the Russian delegation.
Russian small missile ships - the Grad Sviyazhsk and the Great Ustyug - set off for a mission to the Mediterranean Sea
President Vladimir Putin has not released an official statement yet about his position on the issue of the pension reform in Russia