The new foreign Minister of Japan, Taro Kono, appointed to this post during a government reshuffle on Thursday, would like to meet with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov, if possible. He stated at his first press conference in the foreign Ministry, answering the question TASS correspondent about the possibility of such a meeting, including in Manila, where will the activities of ASEAN and East Asia summit.
“If given the opportunity, I would like to meet with Lavrov”, – he said, without commenting on possible dates for such a meeting. However, he noted that he considers necessary to solve the problem of concluding a peace Treaty, “deciding the issue of ownership of the four Islands” (South Kuril Islands). Thus, he reiterated the official position of Tokyo on the issue.
“I think it’s very important to push forward Sino-Russian relations, so I intend to make efforts towards the solution of problems of belonging of the four Islands and concluding a peace Treaty,” he added. In addition, Kono said that he is aware of the importance of development of bilateral relations, since this issue is his grandfather – the Minister of agriculture and forestry of Japan Ichiro Kono, and the father of former foreign Minister Yohei Kono.
At the beginning of September in Vladivostok will host the third Eastern economic forum, which will be attended by Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe. He is expected to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Before that, in August in Moscow, scheduled consultations at the level of Deputy foreign Ministers of Russia and Japan, where it is planned to discuss the results of the visit of the Japanese delegation of officials and businessmen in the South Kurils.