Motegi Hopes to Restart Territorial Talks in Moscow Trip


Tokyo, Dec. 16 (Jiji Press)--Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi will seek to restart stalled negotiations with Russia over a territorial row as he begins his five-day trip to Moscow on Tuesday.

Visiting Russia for the first time since becoming Japan's top diplomat, Motegi will meet his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, on Thursday. The two have met twice before, albeit only briefly on the sidelines of international meetings.

Motegi will take part in his first round of talks regarding four Russian-held northwestern Pacific islands called the Northern Territories in Japan.

Japan and Russia are deadlocked over sovereignty and historical claims on the islands, which were seized from Japan by Soviet troops in 1945, with the issue preventing the two countries from concluding a World War II peace treaty.

Motegi will also seek to coordinate a meeting between Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Russian President Vladimir Putin, who last met in September. The two leaders were slated to meet in November during a summit meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in Chile, but the APEC event was called off due to antigovernment protests.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press