• Kyodo

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The cities of Tokyo and Moscow will resume exchanges of visits by their leaders, Tokyo Gov. Yoichi Masuzoe said Sunday after meeting with Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin in the Russian capital.

Although the two capitals have a friendship city agreement, there have been no official exchanges of visits by the city chiefs in 20 years, Masuzoe said.

He met with Sobyanin after attending an assembly in Tomsk of the Asia Network of Major Cities 21, which is dedicated to exploring development projects.

Masuzoe, who is actively promoting city-level diplomacy, has visited neighboring Asian countries in recent months at a time when Japan’s diplomatic relations with China and South Korea have been strained due to territorial and historical issues.

Masuzoe met Beijing Mayor Wang Anshun in April and Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon as well as South Korean President Park Geun-hye in July.

Masuzoe agreed with Sobyanin to cooperate in tackling various issues faced by major cities such as traffic jams, waste disposal and environmental concerns.

After returning to Narita airport Monday morning, Masuzoe underscored the need for the government to “implement measures against infectious diseases in preparation for the Tokyo Olympics,” bearing in mind the recent spread of dengue fever in the capital.

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