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Putin To Meet With Japanese FM Ahead Of Visit

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (right) will also meet with his Japanese counterpart, Fumio Kishida.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is set to meet with Japan's foreign minister, ahead of an upcoming state visit by the Russian leader.

The Kremlin said visiting Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida would also meet on December 2 with his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, to discuss plans for the trip later this month.

Putin's visit to Japan comes as the two countries continue to build trade ties, but also struggle over the unresolved question of four Pacific islands seized by the Soviet Union in the waning days of World War II.

The two countries have not formally signed a peace treaty due to the competing demands on the islands, known as the southern Kuriles to Russia, and the Northern Territories to Japan.

Moscow has recently moved to build new military infrastructure on some of the islands, which are also home to rich fishing grounds.

Based on reporting by Reuters and TASS