Japanese Prime Minister Visits Russia's Far East First Time Ever

Today, according to the programme of his official visit to Russia, Junichiro Koizumi, Japan's Prime Minister, visited the city of Khabarovsk. According to the press centre of the administration of the Khabarovsk Territory, this is the first ever visit of the head of Japan's government to Russia's Far East.

In Khabarovsk, Mr. Koizumi had talks with local officials and met with the graduates of the 'Russian International Relations Coordinators at Japan's Prefectures' Japanese governmental programme. He also laid flowers at the Peace Park memorial to Japanese citizens who died , in war or peace, in the Khabarovsk Territory.

While meeting with Viktor Ishayev, the governor of the Khabarovsk Territory, Japan's Prime-Minister said the territory's cooperation with Japanese prefectures was positive and very beneficial. Mr. Koizumi added that, besides governmental, relations between Russia and his country should also develop on regional level.

At the press conference that took place before Mr. Koizumi's return to Tokyo, Japan's Prime-Minister said he would do everything he could to bring to life the joint plan his and Russiuan governments had worked out. 'We should develop our relations', Mr. Koizumi said, 'not just as concerns economy or energy. We also need to cooperate in the spheres of culture and tourism and do everything as good friendly neighbours. We must fight terrorism and drug addiction together'. While commenting on this, Japanese news media note that the visit of Prime-Minister to Khabarovsk has been a demonstration of Japan's intent to increase her presence in Russia's Far East, most of all as concerns energy.

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