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Japan to discuss bilateral peace treaty in Russia

Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi is expected to visit Russia in January after an invitation by Russian leader Vladimir Putin last June at the Group of Eight summit in Canada. It is the hope of Japanese Foreign Minister Yoriko Kawaguchi that by the time of Koizumiís visit the two countries will have drawn up an action plan to promote bilateral ties so that a bilateral peace treaty could be fully discussed. On October 14, she will co-chair a bilateral forum on trade and economic issues in Moscow with Russian Deputy Prime Minister Viktor Khristenko, an agreement Kawaguchi reached with Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov during the U.N. General Assembly held in New York. Plans for this treaty have been on hold due to the long-standing territorial dispute over the Russian-held islands off of Hokkaido.

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