Japan PM to visit Russia, UK amid North Korean tension

2017-04-27 06:41
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe addresses a news conference. (File, AP)

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe addresses a news conference. (File, AP)

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Tokyo - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visits Moscow on Thursday to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin and pursue talks on joint economic projects aimed at a possible breakthrough in their decades-old island dispute.

Japanese officials said on Wednesday that North Korea was also likely to be discussed given the timing of Abe's trip, though the leaders' approaches remain different.

Japan recently held talks with key allies the US, South Korea and Australia, agreeing that China and Russia are crucial in pressuring North Korea to end its nuclear and missile programmes. While China is seen as more co-operative, US-Russia ties have deteriorated over Syria.

Japan and Russia both claim four islands north of Japan's northern main island of Hokkaido which came under Russian control at the end of World War II.

They remain at odds over the territorial dispute, but are now discussing joint development of fisheries, tourism and other areas that might help bridge the gap.

Abe is to visit Britain next for talks with Prime Minister Theresa May. Defence co-operation, trade and Britain's exit from the European Union are among key issues to be discussed.

Read more on:    theresa may  |  shinzo abe  |  vladimir putin  |  japan

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