Japan will try to achieve as much progress as possible in the search for a solution to the peace treaty issue that would be acceptable for both Tokyo and Moscow, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said during parliamentary debates on Friday, Trend reports referring to TASS.
"We will work hard to advance joint efforts to find a solution acceptable for both parties and we are determined to achieve as much progress as possible concerning the peace treaty issue," he said, adding that the people of Japan and Russia would also continue to boost friendly and trust-based ties.
Abe pointed out that the Japanese city of Osaka would host the G20 summit in June, on which occasion he planned to hold talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin. In addition, the Japanese prime minister lauded the agreements the two leaders reached at their last meeting in Moscow, which particularly concern the development of projects aimed at enhancing joint economic activities on the southern Kuril Islands.
Since the mid-20th century, Russia and Japan have been holding consultations in order to clinch a peace treaty as a follow-up to World War II. The Kuril Islands issue remains the key sticking point since after WWII the islands were handed over to the Soviet Union while Japan laid claims to the four southern islands.
In November 2018, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe held a meeting on the sidelines of the ASEAN summit in Singapore and agreed that the two countries would accelerate the pace of the peace negotiations based on the 1956 Joint Declaration. The document ended the state of war and said that the Soviet government was ready to hand Shikotan Island and a group of small islands called Habomai over to Japan on condition that Tokyo would take control of them once a peace treaty was signed.
However, after Japan and the United States had signed the Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security in 1960, the Soviet Union withdrew its obligation to hand over the islands. A Soviet government's memorandum dated January 27, 1960, said that those islands would only be handed over to Japan if all foreign troops were pulled out of the country.
Russia has pointed out on numerous occasions that the document does not set out handover conditions and thus requires further clarification.
Source: Trend News Agency