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Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida said that he and his Russian counterpart have agreed on steps that will give Prime Minister Shinzo Abe the chance to jump-start stalled talks on a territorial dispute during his planned visit to Moscow.

In their first face-to-face meeting in London on Wednesday, Kishida and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov agreed that Abe’s trip will be vital in building a personal relationship with President Vladimir Putin, mapping out a long-term vision for bilateral relations and reopening negotiations on four isles off Hokkaido controlled by Moscow.

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