Medvedev tells Japan PM he hopes to strengthen dialogue

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Russian President Dmitry Medvedev told Japan's Premier Naoto Kan on Saturday that Moscow wants to strengthen the countries' dialogue, as both sides smart from a row over disputed islands.

The territorial spat flared up earlier this month when Medvedev made the first trip by a Russian leader to one of four Kuril islands in the Pacific that have been at the centre of a dispute between Moscow and Tokyo since the end of World War II.

Speaking at the start of their meeting, Medvedev told Kan he hoped that "in the course of today's meeting and other contacts we will lay the foundation for strengthening of a dialogue between our two countries".

Kan -- who after Medvedev's island visit temporarily recalled his ambassador to Moscow -- said he hoped the meeting would "help the start of a comprehensive dialogue on the basis of mutual trust".

© 2010 AFP

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