Diplomacy

Abe to Attend World Cup if Japan and Russia Face Off in Finals

Saturday, June 9, 2018

METI Minister Seko

PanOrient News
By Khaldon Azhari
Tokyo - The Japanese minister of economy, trade and industry, Hiroshige Seko, expressed the possibility that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe would attend the upcoming World Cup in Russia if the Russian and Japanese teams end up facing each other in the finals.

The 2018 FIFA World Cup will begin on June 14 with a match between Russia and Saudi Arabia. If the Japanese prime minister does attend, his visit would follow a previous visit to Russia on May 26, when he met with Russian President Vladimir Putin to discuss four disputed islands between the two countries.

Russian Ambassador Galuzin

Seko, who is also the minister for economic cooperation with Russia, spoke at a reception on Friday, June 8 at the Russian Embassy in Tokyo held in honor of Russia Day. Attendees included guest diplomats and Japanese government officials.

In his speech, Seko described a May summit meeting in Russia that he participated in as a success, citing the signing of 50 documents and the launching of 130 business projects. 2018 has been designated as the “Year of Japan in Russia” and the “Year of Russia in Japan” by the two countries as they work to settle territorial disputes and strengthen economic cooperation.

“I hope that this year will be a special year for us and I wish that the friendship between Japan and Russia will deepen further,” said Seko before toasting to friendship.

Newly appointed Russian ambassador to Japan, Mikhail Galuzin, told the audience that Russia intends to keep actively promoting its ties with Japan, which he described as “our promising priority partner in the Asia-Pacific region and around the world.”

“We strongly believe that this type of consistent multifaceted development of mutually beneficial and amicable neighborly relations will allow us to fully reveal the potential of Russia-Japanese relations paving new paths to resolving all outstanding issues between our countries,” Ambassador Galuzin said.

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