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Japan starts state-led sales promotion in Russia


Japan and Russia should seek a "win-win" relationship, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Tuesday, intensifying efforts to promote Japanese technology and culture that he said would lead to further development in Russia.

The two countries are "neighbors who would cause great win-win benefits for each other," Abe said at a meeting of Japanese and Russian business leaders in Moscow. "I hope Japan's economic strength will lead to more fruitful bilateral relations."

He referred to the challenges facing Russia in improving the quality of its people's lives, such as enabling efficient and stable energy supply across the vast country, easing traffic congestion in urban areas, and upgrading waste-disposal and recycling systems.

Involved in the sales promotion by top government officials, the prime minister also touted the attractions of Japanese low calorie foods and advanced medical equipment, both of which he said have helped a lot in making Japan a country known for the longevity of its people.

Abe met with Russian First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov ahead of the business meeting, with the two agreeing Japan and Russia will deepen their economic relations particularly in the areas of agriculture, medical services and urban development, the Japanese Foreign Ministry said.

Abe visited Russia with a delegation of over 100 businesspeople on the first leg of a four-nation trip that will also take him to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Turkey, where he will also seek to increase exports of Japanese products and infrastructure while benefiting from the rapid growth in those emerging economies.

In separate talks with Sergey Naryshkin, chairman of the State Duma, Russia's lower house, Abe expressed his intention to address the territorial dispute that has prevented the countries from signing a peace treaty since World War II.

"The Japan-Russia relationship will develop dramatically if we conclude a peace treaty," Abe was quoted by the ministry as telling Naryshkin, who pointed to the need for negotiations in a calm atmosphere.

On Monday, Abe and President Vladimir Putin agreed to inject momentum into the territorial talks, which have been stalled in recent years. They also pledged to enhance the bilateral business relationship. Russia expects further Japanese investment in developing the country's Far East that has abundant oil and gas reserves, a major attraction for resource-poor Japan.