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Ex-Japan PM Mori invites Putin to Rugby World Cup

In this July 9, 2017 file photo, Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, hosts former Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori for talks in Yekaterinburg, central Russia. (Kyodo)

OSAKA (Kyodo) -- Former Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori on Saturday invited Russian President Vladimir Putin to the Rugby World Cup, which kicks off Sept. 20 in Tokyo.

The former premier extended the invitation, which Putin said he would give full consideration to, when the pair met in Osaka on the sidelines of the summit of the Group of 20 major economies.

The opening match of the quadrennial sports event sees Japan take on Russia at Tokyo Stadium.

Mori has been on good terms with the Russian president for many years, having held talks with him while in office as Japanese prime minister between 2000 and 2001.

Now head of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics organizing committee, Mori was in Osaka with International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach.

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