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Japan is one of Russia's leading political and economic partners in the Asia-Pacific region and the Far East
Japan is one of Russia's leading political and economic partners in the Asia-Pacific region and the Far East, Russia's prime minister said Tuesday. Mikhail Fradkov, who has arrived in Tokyo on a two-day official visit, will have talks with Emperor Akihito, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and meet with other top officials. "Our goal is to determine new ways of developing and enhancing trade, economic, scientific and technical cooperation between Russia and Japan," the premier said. Fradkov said the talks would raise investment issues and that the Russian delegation was expected to attend a bilateral trade and investment forum. It is anticipated that approximately 400 government and business representatives will participate in the forum. He added that opportunities for collaboration between the countries in energy, including the nuclear energy sector, transportation, communications, machine-building and tourism were also on the agenda. A Moscow diplomatic source said Monday Russia's top nuclear official, which is included in the delegation, planned to discuss signing an intergovernmental agreement on the civilian use of nuclear energy. The source said Sergei Kiriyenko, head of the Federal Agency for Nuclear Power, might take part in talks on uranium enrichment projects for Japanese nuclear power plants. Russia and Japan are expected to sign a number of intergovernmental documents on economic, customs and earthquake prevention cooperation, as well as commercial documents, including a framework credit agreement with Japan Bank of International Cooperation. Viktor Khristenko, Russia's industry and energy minister, held a meeting Monday with Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Aso to discuss cooperation in energy and other sectors. He said Russia is interested in Japanese investment and participation in the development of East Siberian deposits and the construction of the East Siberia-Pacific Ocean oil pipeline (ESPO). A Russian government source said Monday that although the territorial issue of the Kuril Islands was not on the agenda if Japan raised the question then Russia would treat it with understanding. Russia and Japan have contested the ownership of the Kuril Islands for over 60 years. Japan maintains that their seizure by the Soviet Union at the end of World War II was illegal, and the dispute has kept the two countries from signing a formal peace treaty.
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