Don't Get Confused by Putin Remarks: PM Abe
Tokyo, Sept. 16 (Jiji Press)--Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, in a television program Sunday, called for calm responses to remarks made by Russian President Vladimir Putin on Japan-Russian relations.
Putin has recently proposed that the two countries sign a peace treaty by the end of the year to formally end their World War II hostilities, while leaving intact the longstanding issue of sovereignty over the four Russian-controlled islands off Hokkaido, northernmost Japan.
"I have reiterated that Japan maintains the basic stance of resolving the territory issue first and then concluding a peace treaty," Abe said in the debate program of Japan Broadcasting Corp., or NHK, also joined by Shigeru Ishiba, former secretary-general of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party and Abe's rival in the ongoing LDP leadership race.
"We shouldn't get confused by only some comments," Abe stressed.
But Ishiba called for caution against optimism over the course of negotiations on the Northern Territories issue, saying, "Putin's territorial fixation is extraordinarily strong."
[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]