Japanese Defense Official to Visit Russia for Military Cooperation

First deputy chief of the Japanese national defense department Ken Sato will pay an official visit to Moscow on Monday to boost bilateral military cooperation, the Russian defense ministry said Sunday.

Sato will hold talks with Russian Defense Minister Igor Sergeyev and Chief of the Russian Armed Forces General Staff Anatoly Kvashnin over Russian-Japanese military ties, and the state and prospects for the military and military-technical cooperation between the two states," the ministry said.

The Moscow visit by Ken Sato will be follow-up to the negotiations Marshal Sergeyev had with Japanese leaders in Tokyo on November 28-30, 2000, when a protocol on multilateral contacts was signed to build up confidence in the region.

In order to conclude a peace treaty to end the deviant fifty- year face-off situation after the World War II, Russia and Japan have moved to mend their ties for the past few years. Moscow is earnest to get funds from Tokyo to accelerate its economic reforms, but the latter hopes to link the financial aid with the solution to the problem of the strategically important Kuril Islands, taken by Russia from Japan during the war.

Russia has repeatedly said that there is no immediate settlement of the territorial dispute in view of its complexity and difficulty. However, both countries have make steps to expand economic and military cooperation in a bid to seal a political pact at an early date.

People's Daily Online --- http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/