Japan's Abe Vows to Resolve Isle Row with Russia


Tokyo, Feb. 7 (Jiji Press)--Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Thursday reiterated his determination to resolve the country's longstanding territorial row with Russia over four northwestern Pacific islands.

"Japan will promote its territorial negotiations with Russia based on its basic policy of concluding a bilateral peace treaty after resolving the dispute," Abe said in his speech to an annual event seeking the return of the islands, known as the Northern Territories in Japan.

The prime minister said he will hold a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin when the latter visits Japan in June.

"It's not easy to settle an issue that has been left unresolved for over 73 years since the end of World War II, but we mush accomplish this," Abe said.

During recent discussions on the territorial issue at the Diet, Japan's parliament, Abe refrained from calling the islands Japan's "inherent territory." In Thursday's speech, he again stopped short of using such an expression, apparently out of consideration for Russia.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press