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Staff writerJapan, the United States and Russia will inaugurate an official security-dialogue forum as early as next year to discuss the Northeast Asian situation and possible security cooperation among the three major players in the region, government sources said Tuesday.The three countries will upgrade the Trilateral Forum on North-Pacific Security Problems — an unofficial, or “track 2,” forum among government and private experts — to an official, or “track 1,” forum among senior government officials alone, the sources said.The Trilateral Forum on North-Pacific Security Problems was launched in early 1994 by three nongovernmental think tanks from Japan, the U.S. and Russia.The three think tanks are The Japan Institute of International Affairs, which is headed by Nobuo Matsunaga, a former Japanese ambassador to the U.S., the Carnegie Foundation of the U.S., and the Institute of World Economics and International Relations of Russia.The forum has met regularly to discuss security affairs in the North Pacific informally in closed-door sessions. Although government employees have also attended the forum’s meetings they did so unofficially as individuals.The sources said that the trilateral forum will hold its sixth meeting in Tokyo around Dec. 10 and compile a package of policy recommendations for the governments of the three countries, which will include, among other things, a call for the creation of a formal security-dialogue forum between Japan, the U.S. and Russia.In response to the recommendations of the security-dialogue forum, the three governments will begin to discuss the details of the planned official meetings, including specific items on its agenda as well as what level of officials should participate in it and how frequently they should meet, the sources said.

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