Abe, Putin Agree to Accelerate Peace Treaty Talks
Singapore, Nov. 14 (Jiji Press)--Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed Wednesday to accelerate bilateral talks on a World War II peace treaty based on the 1956 Japan-Soviet joint declaration.
The declaration calls for the return of the Habomai group of islets and Shikotan, two of the four northwestern Pacific islands at the center of a territorial dispute between Tokyo and Moscow, to Japan after the conclusion of a peace treaty.
The Japanese government's basic policy is that the two countries will conclude a peace treaty after resolving the issue of sovereignty over the four islands, also including Kunashiri and Etorofu.
Wednesday's agreement between Abe and Putin raised the possibility that the two countries will deal with the Habomais and Shikotan first.
Speaking to reporters after the meeting in Singapore, Abe said he plans to visit Russia sometime early next year to hold talks with Putin again.
[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]