Japan and Russia held an investment forum in Tokyo as scheduled Wednesday, with leaders of the two countries sending statements that did not refer to Moscow’s move to absorb the Crimea region of Ukraine.
In their messages read at the event, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said that momentum for boosting bilateral economic exchanges has been rising, while President Vladimir Putin said that the bilateral economic relationship is expanding dynamically and he hopes business leaders will propose constructive projects.
Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Toshimitsu Motegi and Economic Development Minister Alexei Ulyukayev, who had been scheduled to attend the forum, did not show up.
The event drew about 1,000 business representatives and government officials.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters Wednesday that the worsening situation in Ukraine was “one of the key factors” why Motegi skipped the event.
The sixth Japan-Russia Investment Forum was aimed at promoting investment and strengthening bilateral business ties in sectors such as renewable energy and medicine.
Abe indicated Wednesday that Japan could impose additional sanctions on Russia over the Ukraine crisis.
Tokyo announced a set of measures Tuesday to punish Moscow for intervening in Ukraine, such as suspension of talks for easing visa requirements.