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Putin, Abe to meet in Vladivostok on Sept. 2

Kyodo

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will meet in Vladivostok on Sept. 2, a Russian minister said Thursday.

The meeting will take place during Abe’s trip to Vladivostok to participate in an economic forum to be held there on Sept. 2-3 at Putin’s invitation.

Putin and Abe are likely to discuss the former’s possible visit to Japan, a plan Moscow and Tokyo have been trying to realize by the end of the year.

Abe has proposed Putin visit his political home base of Yamaguchi Prefecture in the event his Japan trip is set. The proposal is thought to suggest Abe’s desire to discuss a long-standing bilateral territorial dispute in a sociable mood.

The spat over four Russian-administered, Japan-claimed islands off Hokkaido — Etorofu, Kunashiri, Shikotan and the Habomai islet group — has barred Tokyo and Moscow from signing a post-World War II peace treaty.

South Korean President Park Geun-hye has also decided to attend the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok and is scheduled to meet with Putin on Sept. 3.

Alexander Galushka, minister for the development of the Russian Far East, also told reporters that Putin, Abe and Park will participate in the plenary session of the forum.

The Eastern Economic Forum will assemble business and government representatives to discuss the economic potential of Russia’s Far East and the Asia-Pacific region, as well as investment opportunities.