Noda’s Russia visit pushed back

JIJI

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda has had to drop plans to visit Russia next month and meet with President Vladimir Putin after Moscow cited scheduling difficulties, a government source revealed Thursday.

The two sides will now start making arrangements for Noda to make a trip to Moscow in January, according to the source.

The news comes as the main opposition groups, the Liberal Democratic Party and New Komeito, are urging Noda to dissolve the Lower House for a snap election before the end of the year.

Noda had expressed his desire to visit Moscow next month during a meeting with Putin in September on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Vladivostok, but Russia has notified Japan that the president’s schedule will be too tight around year’s end to accommodate a meeting with Noda, the source said.

Earlier this month, a Russian newspaper reported that Putin had postponed his scheduled overseas visits through December following the recurrence of an old back injury in September while hang-gliding.