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Abe to hold meet with Putin in Vladivostok, talks with Xi eyed

This combined file photo shows Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (L) and Russian President Vladimir Putin. (Kyodo)

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Monday he will attend a regional economic forum to be held in the Russian Far East port city of Vladivostok next week and have a bilateral meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

    Abe said he is also arranging separate meetings with Chinese President Xi Jinping, South Korean Prime Minister Lee Nak Yon and Mongolian President Khaltmaa Battulga on the sidelines of the Eastern Economic Forum scheduled for Sept. 11 to 13.

    The prime minister expressed his determination to push forward talks on joint economic activities on the Russian-held, Japanese-claimed islands off Hokkaido during his meeting with the Russian leader.

    Tokyo sees the activities as a path towards a resolution of the territorial row over the islands and to a possible signing of a postwar peace treaty, while Moscow looks to attract Japanese investment on the islands.

    Abe was looking to have a meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, if he attended the forum, in an attempt to achieve a breakthrough over the issue of Japanese nationals abducted by the North decades ago. But the Russian government said the North's leader will not take part.

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