Abe, Putin Vow to Take Leadership in Peace Treaty Talks


Moscow, Jan. 22 (Jiji Press)--Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed Tuesday that they will take the leadership in the two countries' efforts to conclude a World War II peace treaty while reconfirming their intention to promote bilateral negotiations, including on the longstanding Tokyo-Moscow territorial row, based on the 1956 Japan-Soviet joint declaration.

But clouds appear to be hanging over Abe's scenario that the two sides will reach a broad accord in June, when Putin is slated to visit Japan to attend the Group of 20 summit in Osaka, western Japan, as the president did not mention the issue of sovereignty over the four Russian-controlled northwestern Pacific islands at the center of the territorial dispute, at a joint press conference with Abe, held after their meeting in Moscow on the day.

At the press conference, Abe said he hopes that the foreign ministers of the two countries will hold their next meeting in Germany in February, on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference, in order to make progress in the bilateral negotiations.

"President Putin and I reaffirmed our resolve to take the leadership to powerfully promote the bilateral work on finding a solution acceptable to both sides," he said.

Putin echoed Abe's stance, saying that he aims to achieve a mutually acceptable solution and that development in the two countries' multifaceted and overall relations will be needed for that purpose.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

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