Tokyo, Moscow Reconfirm 2-Isle Solution over Territorial Row
Tokyo, Sept. 29 (Jiji Press)--The top leaders of Japan and Russia on Tuesday reconfirmed the policy of prioritizing the return of two of the four disputed Russian-held islands to Japan to settle their countries' territorial row.
In their telephone talks, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and Russian President Vladimir Putin confirmed a 2018 agreement to accelerate negotiations to strike a World War II peace treaty on the basis of the 1956 Japan-Soviet joint declaration, which stipulates the handover of the Habomai group of islets and Shikotan, two of the four islands, to Japan.
Suga and Putin also shared the target of holding talks in person soon. Their conversation, which lasted nearly 20 minutes, took place at the request of Tokyo.
With the 2018 agreement, struck between then Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Putin, Japan effectively switched to placing priority on the return of the Habomais and Shikotan among the Japanese-claimed northwestern Pacific islands, seized by Soviet troops in the closing days of the war.
But little progress has been made so far over the four islands, called the Northern Territories in Japan.
[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]