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Japan, Russia Organizing High-Level Visits

Tokyo and Moscow are negotiating a visit by Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida to Russia in late August, the Nikkei Business Daily reported on July 19.

Kishida -- who would reportedly lead a delegation of Japanese business executives -- would meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov, Nikkei said.

The trip -- being planned for late August -- is aimed at discussing the countries' conflicting claims over a string of islands known as the Southern Kuriles in Russia and the Northern Territories in Japan.

The meeting would also be used to organize a possible visit by Russian President Vladimir Putin to Japan by the end of 2015.

The business delegation is expected to include representatives from 10 Japanese companies.

Kishida said last week he had not yet set a date for his trip to Russia.

His trip to Russia was originally planned for spring 2014 but was postponed due to Moscow's annexation of the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea and corresponding Western sanctions against Russia, which Japan joined.

Based on reporting by TASS and the Nikkei Business Daily