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Russian President Vladimir Putin and former Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori, who served as a special envoy of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, held talks in Moscow on Feb. 21 to discuss bilateral relations. The talks laid the groundwork for Mr. Abe’s visit to Moscow from late April to early May. Japan needs to try to create an environment that will help to establish trust between Mr. Abe and Mr. Putin.

The expected meeting between Mr. Abe and Mr. Putin will signal the restart of negotiations over the sovereignty of the Northern Territories — four islands off the coast of Hokkaido that are occupied and controlled by Russia.

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