15:30 1 September 2016
TOKYO, Sept. 1, Kyodo
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Thursday appointed trade minister Hiroshige Seko to a new ministerial role overseeing Japan’s anticipated economic cooperation with Russia.
The move comes on the eve of planned talks between Abe and Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of an economic forum in Vladivostok on Friday and Saturday, and reflects Tokyo’s resolve to pursue negotiations with Moscow to conclude a peace treaty that has remained pending since the end of World War II.
Top government spokesman Yoshihide Suga told a press conference that the appointment of a minister to handle the field is “necessary to advance Japan’s economic policies (with regard to Russia).”
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