According to the Asahi Shimbun, a central topic of the talks is likely to be issues linked with the sothern Kuril Island
TOKYO, June 21. /TASS/. Japan’s and Russia’s governments are agreeing a 2+2-format meeting of their foreign and defense ministers in conformity with a top-level arrangement reached earlier this year. Such a meeting may take place in Moscow on July 21, the Asahi Shimbun said on Thursday, citing diplomatic sources.
According to the newspaper, a central topic of the talks is likely to be issues linked with the southern Kuril Island. The Japanese side plans to raise the matter of Russia’s expanding military presence in the area, in particular, the deployment of missile systems.
Apart from that, the ministers are to discuss the situation on the Korean Peninsula following the recent summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and US President Donald Trump. Japan insists that anti-Pyongyang sanctions stay in place until complete denuclearization and hopes to enroll Russia’s support on this matter.
The Japanese side plans to discuss possible contacts between Japan and North Korea at the Eastern Economic Forum in Russia’s Far Eastern city of Vladivostok.
Kyodo said earlier that the forum in Vladivostok is seen in Tokyo as the best option for a meeting between Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
On Monday, June 18, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov said that a Russia-Japan meeting in the 2+2 format may be organized in Moscow in the second half of the year.
The Russian and Japanese foreign and defense ministers had their first meeting in this format in Tokyo in November 2013. But further meetings were frozen after Tokyo had joined the sanctions imposed on Russia over the Ukrainian crisis. A decision to convene another meeting in this format was taken after Russia President Vladimir Putin’s visit to Japan in December 2016 and it was organized in Tokyo in March 2017.