A Japan-based Japanese-Russian friendship society held its inaugural meeting in Tokyo yesterday, September 9. The new group, called the Japan-Russia Friendship Forum 21, includes leading figures from Japanese politics, economics and academia. Its membership is said to include some 300 Russia experts. The organization also brings together thirty-four Japanese organizations involved in Russian-Japanese relations. Yoshio Sakurauchi, chairman of the Japanese parliamentary deputies association for friendship with Russia, was named president of the new organization. Japanese Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi attended the founding ceremony and expressed his hope that the new organization would do its best to promote Japanese-Russian relations. (Kyodo, Itar-Tass, September 9)
Obuchi is scheduled to visit Moscow in November. While there, he will look to boost efforts by the two countries to sign–by the year 2000–a peace treaty formally ending World War II. Japanese Foreign Minister Masahiko Komura is expected to pay an official visit to Moscow this weekend, according to sources in Russia’s Foreign Ministry. He will meet with acting Russian Foreign Minister Yevgeny Primakov, among others. (Russian agencies, September 9)
INCREASE IN EMIGRATION TO ISRAEL ANTICIPATED.