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Japan and Russia may not be able to initial a bilateral investment protection treaty when Russian Prime Minister Sergei Kiriyenko visits Japan next week because of a delay in completing the text for the treaty, a senior Foreign Ministry official said Friday.

Instead, Kiriyenko and Foreign Minister Keizo Obuchi will welcome efforts made so far on the treaty, the official said. Japan and Russia reached a basic agreement in late June and have been making efforts to sign the formal pact during Kiriyenko’s visit. The treaty is intended to protect and encourage more Japanese investments in Russia.

Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto and Russian President Boris Yeltsin agreed in November at an informal summit in Krasnoyarsk, eastern Siberia, to seek a bilateral investment protection pact to enhance bilateral economic cooperation.

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