• Kyodo News


Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin will visit Japan from May 11 for a two-day trip and will meet with Prime Minister Taro Aso, government sources said Wednesday.

The two prime ministers are expected to discuss issues including the sovereignty of the Russian-held islands of Kunashiri, Etorofu, Shikotan and the Habomai islet group off Hokkaido.

The meeting will come two months before Aso meets Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in July on the sidelines of the Group of Eight summit in Italy.

In a meeting in February, Aso and Medvedev agreed to resolve the decades-old bilateral territorial row in “a creative and unconventional approach toward solving the sovereignty dispute by our generation.”

While maintaining expectations that Aso and Medvedev will be able to reach a solution at their upcoming meeting, Japan also wants to hold intensive negotiations on the issue with Putin to speed up the process.

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