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Japanese Foreign Minister Reveals Stance on Skripal Poisoning Case

© AP Photo / Shizuo Kambayashi / In this Aug. 3, 2017 file photo, Japan's Foreign Minister Taro Kono speaks during a press conference at the prime minister's official residence in Tokyo
In this Aug. 3, 2017 file photo, Japan's Foreign Minister Taro Kono speaks during a press conference at the prime minister's official residence in Tokyo - Sputnik International
TOKYO (Sputnik) - Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono said he had discussed with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov poisoning of Russian ex-spy Sergei Skripal in the UK city of Salisbury and pointed out the need for thorough investigation into the incident.

"As for an attack on the former Russian intelligence officer Sergei Skripal, we exchanged views, I repeated that use of chemical weapons is unacceptable, and first of all, investigation of facts is important," Kono told reporters after the meeting with Lavrov.

Sergey Lavrov expressed a hope that Japan would manage to get answers from the United Kingdom on Russian ex-spy Sergei Skripal poisoning case as London refuses to provide Moscow with the requested information.

"In the end of our talks Mr. [Japanese Foreign Minister Taro] Kono touched the topic of what is going on with Skripal and his daughter now in the UK… Kono said fact finding is of prior importance. We fully agreed with him and told him about our unsuccessful attempts to get any explanation of the facts," Russian Foreign Minister said after the meeting with Japanese counterpart.

"These facts are, first, where Mr. Skripal and his daughter are now. Second, why if the investigation is going to take several months, why the UK government has already made a verdict? The UK side refuses to give us explanation. Maybe the Japanese side will manage to get answers," Lavrov added.

Japanese Foreign Minister also said that Japan and Russia would hold strategic dialogue consultations in Moscow on April 19 at the level of deputy foreign ministers.

The meeting was announced on Monday by the Russian Foreign Ministry.

"We decided that on April 19 there will be a strategic dialogue meeting in Moscow between deputy minister [Takeo] Akiba and deputy minister [Vladimir] Titov," Kono said after the meeting with Sergey Lavrov.

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Earlier, Taro Kono said at the start of the meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov that Russia and Japan have many spheres, in which the two countries can have intensive cooperation, and denuclearization of North Korea is among them.

We have many tasks that require intensive cooperation, including the issue of North Korea," Kono said.

The Japanese foreign minister mentioned the problem of North Korea several times at the opening of the two ministers' consultations.

Kono also said that the economic and security cooperation, as well as humanitarian measures for former residents of the Kuril Islands were on the agenda.

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