• Kyodo

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Foreign Minister Nobutaka Machimura said Saturday he is considering a visit to Russia before President Vladimir Putin’s planned visit to Japan in February, in a bid to seek a breakthrough in the long-running territorial dispute.

Machimura, referring to a senior working-level meeting held last Tuesday in Moscow, said, “I received a report saying that the Russian response was severe, and (I think) I may have to visit there (if necessary).”

Japan and Russia have agreed to speed up preparations for Putin’s visit, and as part of the efforts Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is scheduled to come to Japan early next year.

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