Japan's Foreign Minister Sunao Sonoda has begun a series of talks with Soviet officials in Moscow.
GV EXT: Talks venue in Moscow.
SV INT: Japanese Foreign Minister Sunao Sonoda (centre) enters conference room and takes seat.
SV: Sonoda seated at table with other Japanese delegates.
SV: Soviet Union Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko (seated left) with Soviet delegates.
SV: Japanese newsmen.
SCU PULL BACK TO MV: Meeting in progress.
SV: Meeting to progress.
SV PULL BACK TO LV: Delegates at conference table.
GV: Delegates at conference table.
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Background: Japan's Foreign Minister Sunao Sonoda has begun a series of talks with Soviet officials in Moscow. Appropriately at the first session on Monday (9 January) he met his counterpart, Soviet Union Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko.
SYNOPSIS: Mr. Sonoda has four days of talks planned in Moscow and as well as the general international situation he's discussing his country's claims to the Soviet-held islands in the kurile group off Japans north eastern coast and Japan plans to sign a treaty with China. This Russia dislikes.
Japanese sources say the first sessions were very cordial despite some outstanding differences between the two powers.
It was Mr. Gromyko who told the Japanese Foreign Minister that a planned meeting with Soviet leader 71-year-old Leonid Brezhnev had to be cancelled, adding to speculation that the Kremlin Chief is seriously ill. Official sources say Mr. Brezhnev has again got influenza. Meanwhile the two Foreign Ministers got down to business ...their first talks in two years.