Russia’s TASS news agency released a report stating that Russian President Vladimir Putin is scheduled to hold a high level bilateral summit with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in may of 2018. Abe and Putin have a notably warm personal relationship which has contributed greatly to Russia and Japan enjoying historically productive relations.
So far–so normal. However, Russia is having a Presidential election in March of 2018 and right now the only candidate with free access to declare his candidacy is opposition LDPR leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky.
This means that if President Putin has scheduled a meeting with the Japanese Prime Minister which takes place after the forthcoming Russian Presidential election, he intends not only to run as a candidate, but he intends to win.