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Japan Foreign Minister Likely to Postpone Russia Visit

Japan's Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida is likely to postpone a visit to Russia planned for April, government sources, said Japanese news agency Jiji reported Tuesday, as Tokyo's ties with Moscow grow chilly after Russia's seizure of Crimea.

An official at the Russian section of Japan's Foreign Ministry declined to comment on the news.

This comes a day after leaders of the Group of Seven leading industrial nations, including Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, suspended Russia's participation in the Group of Eight, warning Moscow that it faced economic sanctions if President Vladimir Putin takes further action to destabilise Ukraine.

Abe has made better ties between Tokyo and Moscow a priority since returning to power 15 months ago and has met Putin five times, despite a territorial dispute dating from World War II.

But following Russia's annexation of Crimea, Japan has sided with the U.S. and its G7 allies.

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