Publication: Monitor Volume: 4 Issue: 147

Russian President Boris Yeltsin yesterday invited two Japanese leaders to visit Japan. In a personal letter to former Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto, Yeltsin thanked the former prime minister for his contributions to Russian-Japanese friendship (Kyodo, July 30) and invited Hashimoto and his family to visit Russia as Yeltsin’s personal guests. On July 26, Hashimoto said that he intends to devote most of his post-resignation energies to key diplomatic problems still confronting Japan. According to government sources, Hashimoto singled out relations with Russia in particular, and indicated that he hoped to use his strong personal ties to Yeltsin to maintain momentum in Russian-Japanese relations. (Kyodo, July 26)

Yeltsin yesterday also invited Japan’s newly elected prime minister, Keizo Obuchi, to visit Russia this fall. The invitation is aimed at maintaining the schedule of summits set by Yeltsin and Hashimoto. The two men had met twice informally and were scheduled to hold a third summit in Moscow in the fall. Yeltsin also congratulated Obuchi on his election–expressing confidence that the two of them would be able to maintain progress in Russian-Japanese relations. Russia’s Foreign Ministry also welcomed Obuchi’s election, and praised the former foreign minister for “his constructive contribution…to the building of new Russian-Japanese relations, and his active participation in major bilateral events of recent times.” (Kyodo, Itar-Tass, July 30)