Publication: Monitor Volume: 3 Issue: 148

Diplomatic momentum between Moscow and Tokyo continued to build yesterday, as Russian foreign minister Yevgeny Primakov agreed in talks with his Japanese counterpart, Yukihiko Ikeda, that the two countries would strive to improve relations based on principles set out last week by Japanese prime minister Ryutaro Hashimoto. (See Monitor, July 25) Primakov and Ikeda met on the sidelines of the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) regional security forum in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. According to a Japanese Foreign Ministry official, Primakov described Hashimoto’s diplomatic initiative — by which Tokyo will henceforth base its relations with Russia on the principles of trust, mutual benefit, and a long term view — as an "extremely positive" development.

The Russian side reportedly reacted with equal enthusiasm to an offer by Tokyo to involve Japan in the training of Russian business people. On that issue, Primakov applauded "the quick reaction by the Japanese" to a July 25 radio address during which Russian president Boris Yeltsin said that the government intends to send young Russians abroad for training in management and business. The Russian foreign minister also confirmed that Yeltsin and Hashimoto will meet informally sometime before the end of this year, although the exact dates and venue have not yet been determined. And the two ministers reportedly agreed to work toward resolution of a disagreement over fishing rights for Japanese boats in the waters around the disputed Kuril Islands. Talks on that issue are to resume in September. (Kyodo, July 29)

Arms Deals Old and New.