Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori, as he talks to Russian President Vladimir Putin during a summit meeting at the Baikal Business Center in Irkutsk, Sunday, March 25, 2001. (AP Photo/Yuri Kochetkov/Pool)

As part of the Russian-Japanese talks, the President of Russia Vladimir Putin and the Prime Minister of Japan Iosiro Mori have signed today "the Irkutsk declaration," This diplomatic document is a result of a meeting between the leaders of the two countries.

The Russian president's plane landed in at the Irkutsk aiport at 10.30 a.m. Vladimir Putin at once went to the Baikal Business Center, the location where the Russian-Japanese negotiations were being conducted. Iosiro Mori began his day in Irkutsk with several ritual ceremonies. Once again he laid wreaths at the Eternal Flame. Then he visited a cemetery where his compatriots who died in Siberian prisoner of war camps are buried. The meeting between the leaders of the two countries officially began at 11:00 am. Putin and Mori also spoke privately for an hur and a half. After the meeting the Japanese premiere said, "We have vigorously discussed all questions." He also noted that he was the first Japanese to visit Russia in the 21st century. 

Further negotiations continued in an expanded format. The basic focus was on questions of economic bilateral cooperation. In particular, the arrangement of a trip to Russia for official representatives of business communities in Japan was achieved. A draft plan for delivering Siberian power and fuel resources to Japan and other countries of the Asian-Pacific region was also debated.

Both sides have signed the unique Irkutsk Declaration document, which provides for the continuation of negotiations on problems of the peace treaty. In the document it is emphasized that further dialogue about territorial questions will be conducted in full public view before the manifestos are accepted. including the mutual declaration of the USSR and Japan in 1956 and the question of the destiny of South Kuril. 

As experts emphasize, "there was no discussion about the transfer of Japan's islands of Habomai and Shikotan, as was affirmed earlier by the Japanese side on the basis of the manifesto of 1956 and the subsequent transfer of two more islands in the South Kuril chain - Kunashira and Iturup ." All further negotiations on the problem of boundary delimitation conducted on the basis of the arrangements achieved October 13, 1993, by the President of Russia Boris Yeltsin and the Prime Minister of Japan Morihiro Hosokavoi. This was the main result of today's summit meeting. 

Eugeny Paul, Leonid Al'kov AS Baikal TV /25.03.2001/ 

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Fedor Babanine (   03.26.2001