Russia and Japan will hold a bilateral year of culture in 2018, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced following talks with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

“We have agreed to hold a bilateral year of culture next year,” Putin told reporters.

The two leaders pointed to the “increasing cultural and humanitarian exchanges.” “In June, the Russian Seasons festival will open in Japan which is going to include a total of 250 events to be held in 40 cities,” Putin said adding that during the festival, the Japanese audience would have a chance to see the best examples of Russian culture.

Putin added he was pleased to learn that the Japanese prime minister had agreed to take part in the opening ceremony that would take place in Tokyo.

According to the Russian president, at Thursday’s talks, the parties pointed to the increasing regional cooperation between Russia and Japan. “During the current visit (of the Japanese prime minister), a cooperation agreement between Russia’s Krasnodar region and Japan’s Yamaguchi Prefecture has been signed,” Putin said.

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