April 28 - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe arrives in Moscow for talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe arrived in Moscow on Sunday (April 28) for a summit with the Russian President Vladimir Putin - the first between leaders of the two countries in a decade. Japan and Russia expect to clinch up to 20 deals, launch an investment fund and reopen talks on a territorial row. A dispute over four sparsely populated islands in the Pacific, known as the Northern Territories in Japan and the Southern Kuriles in Russia, has prevented the countries from signing a peace treaty ending World War Two. The issue has overshadowed relations for more than 60 years. Japan also expects Russia to present a proposal for Japan's participation in building a pipeline connecting East Siberian gas fields and a planned $38 billion Vladivostok gas hub built by Gazprom, Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Hiroshige Seko told Reuters on Thursday (April 25). Japan is the largest importer of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in the world and could provide Russia with the money and technology to develop its under-populated east. Japan, for its part, sees Russia as a strategic partner as it looks to diversify and cut the costs of LNG imports, which shot up after a 2011 disaster at its Fukushima nuclear plant. Abe's trip follows two months of talks on expanding gas-supply agreements in which Japan has been pressing Gazprom to present a detailed plan of the Vladivostok project that would spell out the potential role of Japanese companies.