Russia exclusively solves the visa regime for Japanese citizens who want to visit the Kuril Islands, President Vladimir Putin said at the WEF-2019.
He noted that this is being done “precisely for humanitarian reasons” and a willingness to meet these people.
“Not everyone knows this and not everyone understands the subtlety of this exclusivity. It lies in the fact that we are not just creating the opportunity for Japanese citizens to visit these islands, but also doing this in a visa-free manner,” the president said.
This issue also has a political component: Moscow understands that Japan does not want to issue visas to its citizens specifically on these islands, and they are moving towards it.
Putin also drew attention to the fact that Japan does not issue visas to Russian citizens living in Crimea. “Where is Japan – and where is Crimea,” he asked.
The moderator of the WEF plenary meeting, journalist Sergey Brilev, drew attention to the fact that Japan denies visas to residents of the South Kuril Islands since it considers them to be its territory.
Abe at the WEF session expressed the hope that the easing of the visa regime between the two countries will be mutually accelerated.