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Japanese and Russian leaders agreed Monday on the basic concept for a joint investment company that will be established in Moscow, Foreign Ministry officials said.

Russian Prime Minister Sergei Kiriyenko arrived in Tokyo on Monday for a two-day trip aimed at promoting economic cooperation in a wide range of fields. His visit is the first by a Russian prime minister.

Speaking at a joint news conference with Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto, Kiriyenko said he hopes bilateral relations will not be affected by Hashimoto’s departure from the post.

Hashimoto said after their meeting that they noted the progress thus far in the planned investment company and renewed their commitment to the so-called Hashimoto-Yeltsin Plan of economic cooperation. Details of the agreement for the company have not been revealed.

But Hashimoto cited the basic agreement in their bilateral investment protection and the signing of a contract to extend $800 million in untied loans from the Export-Import Bank of Japan. Hashimoto and Russian President Boris Yeltsin reached an agreement on establishing the company at their informal summit in Kawana, Shizuoka Prefecture, in April.

The Hashimoto-Yeltsin Plan, initially agreed upon in Krasnoyarsk, eastern Siberia, last November, calls for bilateral cooperation in six key fields: investment promotion; the integration of Russia into the international economic system; greater support for Russian reforms; training of Russian business executives and government officials; increased dialogue in the energy field; and cooperation in the peaceful use of nuclear energy.

At the Kawana summit, the two leaders agreed to add space development as the seventh pillar of the plan.

Kiriyenko said he is sorry to see Hashimoto vacating his post but added that he hopes it will not result in changes in Russian-Japanese relations. Earlier in the day, Hashimoto said in a news conference announcing his resignation that he hopes the “fledging friendship” with Russia will not be affected.

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