Japan slams MP’s surprise visit to Russia

Tokyo on Tuesday condemned an astonishing visit to Moscow by a Japanese lawmaker who encountered Russia’s deputy foreign minister. Mr Muneo Suzuki’s trip, the first known visit by a Japanese lawmaker since Russia invaded Ukraine previous year, comes after Japan collaborated Western allies in sanctioning Moscow over the conflict. “The government wasn’t briefed by Suzuki on the Russia visit this time, before or after,” spokesman Hirokazu Matsuno said.

“We’re bringing a warning… of ending travels to Russia and no matter what the purpose is, we’re supporting all citizens to hinder from travelling to Russia,” Mr Matsuno told reporters. Russia’s foreign ministry said Mr Suzuki encountered deputy foreign minister Andrey Rudenko on Monday. “The Russian side noted a particular contribution by the Japanese MP to the growth of the bilateral ties,” the ministry statement said on Tuesday.

“We are feeling sorrow while saying that the legacy of two nations coordination, got over decades, is being deliberately  destructed by the sanctions policy enforced by Tokyo in order to please the United States and the anti-Russian course of the ‘collective West,’” it said. Mr Suzuki, a member of the centre-right opposition Japan Innovation Party, is a long-time advocate of close Japan-Russia collaborations. He was immensely participating in the foreign ministry’s programmes which were majorly directing their energy in resolving territorial conflicts with Russia after World War II.