Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu hopes that cooperation between Moscow and Tokyo in the military sphere will be fruitful, he said on Thursday at negotiations with the Japanese Minister of Defense Takeshi Iwaya, ONA reports citing TASS.
"I want to thank you for the invitation to visit Japan and hospitality. We are carrying out our negotiations right after Emperor Naruhito’s accession and the start of the era of Reiwa - or ‘beautiful harmony’ - in Japan. We hope that this time will become fruitful for Russian-Japanese relations, including in the military sphere," Shoigu said, addressing his colleague.
The minister said it is rewarding that consultations between the Russian and Japanese foreign and defense ministers in the "2+2" format became traditional. Such previous negotiations were held in Moscow in 2018.
"Today we have the important task to bring bilateral relations to a brand-new level which would contribute to the search for mutually acceptable solutions to thorniest issues," the defense minister said.
He hopes that the defense ministries of the two states will be able to make a contribution to the development of constructive dialogue between Moscow and Tokyo. "It is important to determine which contribution the defense ministries may make in the establishment of constructive contacts between our states. I should note here that Russian-Japanese relations have developed considerably of late," the Russian minister said.
"I am confident that our negotiations will further serve to consolidate partner relations and develop mutually acceptable cooperation between the defense ministries of the two states," he concluded.