Abe Says Return of 2 Russia-Held Isles Not Contradicting Japan's Policy


Darwin, Australia, Nov. 16 (Jiji Press)--Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Friday that the return of two of the four disputed northwestern Pacific islands from Russia to Japan does not contradict Tokyo's long-held policy on them.

The 1956 Japan-Soviet joint declaration stipulates the return of the Habomai group of islets and Shikotan to Japan after the conclusion of a bilateral peace treaty.

Japan's position is that the issue of sovereignty over the four islands should be resolved first before the peace treaty is signed.

There are "no contradictions at all" between them, Abe said at a press conference in Darwin, northern Australia.

In their summit meeting on Wednesday, Abe and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed to accelerate talks on concluding the peace treaty, based on the 1956 declaration.

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Jiji Press