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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Mori to Meet Putin and Bush

TOKYO, Japan - Despite political turmoil at home, Japan's foreign ministry said Thursday that Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori planned to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Irkutsk Mar. 25 as scheduled following a meeting with U.S. President George W. Bush in Washington next week.

A foreign ministry official said on condition of anonymity that Mori and Putin would discuss why the two countries missed their deadline of the end of 2000 for concluding a peace treaty.

Details of the agenda have not been worked out, the official said.

The small islands in dispute, off Japan's northernmost main island of Hokkaido, were captured by Soviet troops at the end of World War II. Japan still claims them.

Though Mori is widely expected to resign soon, he has vowed to stay on to see the passage of this year's budget and to hold summit meetings with Bush and Putin.

The foreign ministry announced Mori's trip to the United States on Thursday, saying he was to leave Tokyo on Sunday and meet Bush in Washington on Monday. He was to visit Honolulu before returning Tokyo Wednesday.

Mori and Bush were to discuss security and economic issues, including last month's deadly accident when the USS Greeneville submarine hit and sank a Japanese fishing training ship off Hawaii.

The two leaders also planned to discuss the international situation, including China, the Korean Peninsula and Russia.