Japan is closely watching the financial crisis in Russia and continues to support its economic reform efforts, Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto said Thursday in a letter to Russian President Boris Yeltsin.

Hashimoto said that he hopes Yeltsin and his new Cabinet will handle the crisis in Russia appropriately.

Hashimoto said that Japan will continue to promote investment and economic cooperation with Russia under the so-called “Hashimoto-Yeltsin Plan” of economic cooperation that was created last November at an informal summit in Krasnoyarsk, eastern Siberia.

Hashimoto sent the letter to Yeltsin to celebrate Russia’s National Day, the anniversary of its declaration of sovereignty.

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