Putin proposes peace treaty with Japan

Mikhail Metzel  TASS

Mikhail Metzel TASS

Russian President Vladimir Putin has proposed signing a World War II peace treaty with Japan by the end of the year "without preconditions".

Japan is looking to build trust through such activities to pave the way for settling the decades-long territorial spat over the Russian-held, Japanese-claimed islands and eventually signing a peace treaty.

Xi is in Russia to attend an event in the Russian far eastern city of Vladivostok.

"Amid the quickly changing worldwide situation and the factors of instability and unpredictability, the cooperation of Russian Federation and China takes on greater and greater importance", Xi told reporters during the event, which experts noted took place as Washington's relationship with both countries deteriorated.

Yoshihide Suga, Japan's chief cabinet secretary and top government spokesman, told a regular press briefing this week: "Our position that the Northern Territories issue is resolved before any peace treaty remains unchanged".

Talks between Abe and Putin are "moving toward a peace treaty" (Reuters) and resolution of the islands disagreement.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe travels to Vladivostok for bilateral discussions with Russia's President Vladimir Putin today.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his South Korean counterpart Lee Nak-yeon have also marked their presence at the Eastern Economic Forum (EEF), which Mr. Putin is hosting.

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On Monday, Putin had seemed to pour cold water on suggestions that the dispute could be solved soon.

Abe didn't respond to the invitation, which drew applause at the forum.

Putin and Abe took part in the forum's plenary session, where the Russian head of state articulated his proposal.

A former Russian deputy foreign minister, Georgy Kunadze, said he doubted that Putin wanted to solve the territorial problem in earnest. "Putin does not expect anything", Kunadze told the Echo of Moscow radio station.

The quest for the return of the islands is an emotive issue in Japan, and Kunadze suggested that Abe would never accept a deal that would be political suicide.

Abe said he and Putin approved a "road map" to realize the activities on the islets in five areas - aquaculture, greenhouse farming, tourism, wind power and waste reduction - which they agreed on a year ago.

The "nine bridges'" include cooperation in shipbuilding, arctic shipping, seaports, energy and natural gas, as well as railways, jobs, agriculture and fishing.

This is not Putin and Xi's first foray into batter-based cooking.

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