The leader of Russia's parliamentary lower house on Wednesday said he believed that parliamentary dialogue could make interstate relations between Russia and Japan "more pragmatic".
State Duma chairman Sergey Naryshkin, speaking at a meeting with Masaaki Yamazaki, chairman of Japan’s House of Councillors upper house of parliament, said: "I should say that one of the main goals of our visit is strengthening parliamentary cooperation between our countries and contacts, also with Japanese senators, because such a dialogue on the parliamentary platform is able to make interstate relations more pragmatic and better serving the interests of the people of our countries."
"We believe that our bilateral interaction and cooperation between Russia and Japan in economic, political and humanitarian spheres is of great intrinsic value and helps to make a better life for the people of our countries," he added.
Naryshkin’s visit to Japan comes amid Tokyo’s recent unfriendly steps, including sharing the West's assessment of the situation in Ukraine and imposing sanctions on Russia. Japan introduced entry bans and asset freezes against Russian individuals who were allegedly "involved in the Ukrainian events". Five Russian banks were banned from the issuance of securities on the Japanese market.
Ahead of his trip, Naryshkin said he was planning to hold "frank and substantive discussions on a whole range of issues both of bilateral and global character". He noted that inter-parliamentary ties remained among the most important factors of the interstate cooperation.
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