Putin Urges Japan to Sign Peace Treaty by Year-End without Condition

Politics

Vladivostok, Russia, Sept. 12 (Jiji Press)--Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed to Japan on Wednesday that the two countries conclude a World War II peace treaty by year-end, by setting no preconditions at all.

Making the surprise remark at a meeting of the Eastern Economic Forum in the Russian Far East city of Vladivostok, Putin effectively called for shelving the two countries' longstanding territorial dispute over four Russian-held northwestern Pacific islands.

It is the first time for Putin to propose a deadline for the conclusion of such a treaty between Russia and Japan.

Putin's remark contradicts Japan's position of seeking to conclude a peace treaty after resolving the ownership row over the islands.

The islands, known as the Northern Territories in Japan, were seized by the former Soviet Union from Japan at the end of the war. The island ownership row has prevented Tokyo and Moscow from concluding a peace treaty to formally end their wartime hostilities.

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Jiji Press