Published: Thu, September 13, 2018
Economy | By

Putin proposes Russia, Japan sign historic peace treaty

Putin proposes Russia, Japan sign historic peace treaty

Putin said at the plenary meeting earlier in the day that Moscow and Tokyo should make a peace treaty without any preconditions before the end of the year.

"It is not a joke", Putin added, suggesting the two countries commit to solving the territorial dispute in the text of the peace deal.

"After that, I very much wish to invite President Xi to Japan", said Abe, speaking after meeting China's leader Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the forum.

But a Japanese government spokesman said Japan's position had not changed and that the issue of sovereignty over the islands needed to be resolved before signing any treaties with Russian Federation.

Chinese President Xi Jinping (C, rear) attends an award ceremony for the first race of the SCF Far East Tall Ships Regatta 2018 with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Mongolian President Khaltmaa Battulga, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and South Korean Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon after the plenary session of the fourth Eastern Economic Forum (EEF) held in Vladivostok in Russia's Far East, on September 12, 2018.

"I don't want to comment on what President Putin said", Suga said at a regular briefing in Tokyo.

The islands of Etorofu, Kunashiri, Shikotan and the Habomai islet group, called the Northern Territories in Japan and the Southern Kurils in Russian Federation, were seized by the Soviet Union after Japan surrendered in World War II in August 1945.

Fresh from his pancake diplomacy date with China's President Xi Jinping, Vladimir Putin served up the main dish on Wednesday - a possible breakthrough in Russian-Japanese relations. He said his idea was that the two sides sign a treaty first, and then work through the issues on which they are in dispute afterwards.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jingping displayed their cooking skills on the sidelines of an global economic forum.

For his part, Abe said that the two countries "have a duty to future generations".

Both Moscow and Tokyo claim sovereignty over the islands, known in Russian Federation as the Kurile islands and in Japan as the Northern Territories.

Russian commentator Georgy Kunadze, a former deputy foreign minister, told Ekho Moskvy radio that he believes Putin was "trolling" Abe and "does not expect anything" to result from the proposal. "This stance hasn't changed". Moscow has stated many times that Russia's sovereignty over the islands could not be questioned.

"We have been trying to solve the territorial dispute for 70 years".

The Soviet Union seized the four islands north of Hokkaido and east of Sakhalin in the closing days of World War II.

Putin said the conclusion of such a deal would create a better atmosphere and allow Russian Federation and Japan to "continue to solve all outstanding issues like friends".

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