Apart from this, a touching gift to Vladimir Putin from Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda left Tokyo today with the flight to Moscow. It is a puppy of the Akita Inu breed.
Vladimir Putin has already found a name for his new pet – Yumey, which means ‘dream’ in Japanese. Akita Inu dogs are known to be especially loyal and devoted to their owners. Viktor Pavliatenko from the Centre of Japanese Studies of the Institute of the Far East at the Russian Academy of Sciences is convinced that by sending the puppy to Vladimir Putin Japanese people meant to add warmth to the atmosphere of the talks between Moscow and Tokyo.
“This is not a fighting breed, not a defender but a real friend with whom people can share their thoughts and dreams and be on an equal footing. The Japanese love to attach meaning to their gifts. Taking into consideration Putin’s love for dogs, this gift is bound to create an atmosphere of mutual understanding and liking between the two leaders during their forthcoming meetings.”
The discussion of our bilateral relations will be a preparation for the Moscow-Tokyo summit which is due to take place during the APEC summit in Vladivostok. Russia and Japan have developed a number of joint projects in the nuclear energy sector and the exploration and development of uranium deposits. However, there are a lot of other fields in which our cooperation ought to be developed, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich told The Voice of Russia.
“Japan is one of Russia’s top ten leading economic partners. Our bilateral trade turnover is dynamically growing. Last year it approached the maximum pre-crisis figure of about $30bn. This year our trade links keep growing stronger. At the same time, it is clear that the scale and contents of our cooperation do not match the rich potential of Russian-Japanese ties. There is ample ground for promoting mutually-advantageous cooperation in the energy sector, including the Russian Far East.”
In addition, the two sides intend to discuss the situations in Syria and Afghanistan, as well as the settlement of the nuclear problem of the Korean Peninsula. The Japanese Foreign Minister is also likely to touch upon the Kuril Islands issue. However, Russia’s position on this issue remains unchanged, Director of the Centre of Geopolitical Assessments Valery Korovin says.
“Even a discussion of the transfer of control over the four Kuril islands to Japan is out of the question. It is absolutely unacceptable for Russia and the Japanese side understands this. This has just become a certain ritual now. When Russian and Japanese leaders meet, the Kuril problem is brought up for discussion, Russia declines the issue and Japan expresses dissatisfaction.”
Russia and Japan have still not signed a peace treaty after the Second World War. Tokyo insists on the preliminary condition that the four Kuril islands – Iturup, Kunashir, Shikotan and Habomai – belong to Japan. Moscow’s position is that the South Kuril Islands became part of the USSR after WW2 and Russian sovereignty over them has been legally registered on the international level, so it is not subject to doubt.