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[TOKYO] Japanese trade minister Hiroshige Seko on Monday ruled out any economic cooperation steps with Moscow that would hurt the solidarity of sanctions by the Group of Seven (G7) after Moscow's annexation of Ukraine's region of Crimea in 2014.
The comments by Mr Seko, who holds the portfolio for economic cooperation with Russia, come ahead of summit meetings planned for Dec 15 and 16 between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Japan, to discuss economic cooperation and a decades-old territorial dispute.
The United States, the European Union and Japan imposed sanctions to punish Moscow after its 2014 annexation of Ukraine's Crimea.