INTERVIEW: Minister Seeks Progress in Treaty Talks with Russia


Tokyo, Oct. 2 (Jiji Press)--Japanese minister for Okinawa and Northern Territories affairs Seiichi Eto has sought progress in negotiations to conclude a peace treaty with Russia after settling a long-running territorial dispute.

The Foreign Ministry mainly handles the negotiations on the envisioned treaty and the dispute over four Russian-controlled northwestern Pacific islands claimed by Tokyo, Eto said Tuesday.

His role is to "support and propel the negotiations," he also said in an interview with media organizations including Jiji Press.

"I want to create momentum," he said. "I also want to increase interactions with Russia, educate the domestic public (about the issue) and conduct support measures for former residents of the islands."

The islands, known in Japan as the Northern Territories, were seized from Japan by the former Soviet Union in the closing days of World War II. The dispute has prevented Tokyo and Moscow from concluding a bilateral peace treaty.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press