Vladimir Putin heads to Japan for a two-day trip, he will discuss the issue of disputed territories with the Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Russia’s delegation includes Economy Minister Maxim Oreshkin and Trade and Industry Minister Denis Manturov.
Japan is ready to start again the discussion regarding the disputed territories between Japan and Kuril islands. The PM Abe hopes to break the ice on an agreement over the Kurils, this territory was seized by Soviet troops in 1945 and demanded back by Tokyo ever since.
These negotiations were in the process of preparations for months, the Japan side hopes that the leaders can finally hammer out the differences over the four islands. The disputed islands (known as the Northern Territories in Japan and the Southern Kurils in Russia respectively) will be the principal subject of negotiation during Putin’s first visit in more than a decade.
“The absence of a peace treaty between Russia and Japan is an anachronism inherited from the past and this anachronism should be eliminated. But how to do this is a difficult question,”
the Russian leader said in an interview with Japan’s Nippon TV and Yomiuri newspaper published on the Kremlin’s website on Tuesday.
According to Putin, Russia would strive to reach a treaty because it wants “full normalisation” of ties with Japan. During this time, the Russian president will visit a forum in Tokyo as well.
“It’s not simple to bring the two sides’ positions closer,”
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said after meeting his Japanese counterpart Fumio Kishida this month. At the same time, recently Moscow deployed coastal defence missiles to two of the four islands, heightening Japanese anger already piqued by the construction of two modern military compounds.