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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Nakasone in Moscow for Talks

Former Japanese Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone is in Moscow for a week-long visit during which he will meet President Boris Yeltsin and promote his new book, a Japanese Embassy official said Monday.


The spokesperson, who asked not to be named, said that the former Japanese leader had been invited by the Russian Institute of the Far East to promote his book "After the Cold War", released last year and recently translated into Russian.


He said that Nakasone, 75, who was prime minister from 1983 to 1987, was scheduled to meet Yeltsin on Tuesday, but that talks on the Kuril Islands, an ongoing point of contention between Tokyo and Moscow, would not be on the agenda.


"Mr. Nakasone is not a government official, and therefore such subjects are not the purpose of the talks", the official said by telephone Monday.


A spokesperson in the president's press service said on Monday that the meeting between Yeltsin and Nakasone had not been confirmed.


Nakasone met on Monday with Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev.


Japan has continued to demand the return of the four islands off its northern coast, which were seized by the Soviet Union after World War II. But Yeltsin, facing growing pressure from conservatives, has not given in.


Last September, the president canceled a visit to Tokyo at four day's notice, citing Japan's unwillingness to compromise over the islands. A subsequent visit planned for May was also postponed, although Japanese officials said that Russia's domestic problems were the reason for the cancelation. No new date for a trip has been set, the embassy spokesperson said, but the president has been invited to Tokyo on July 7 for a summit of the Group of Seven leading industrial nations in Tokyo, at which Western aid to Russia is to be discussed.


Nakasone is currently director of the Tokyo-based Institute of World Peace, which he created after he left his post as prime minister.


On Wednesday, Nakasone is planning to hold a speech on international affairs at the Moscow State University.