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TOKYO, September 25 (Itar-Tass) — The Japanese Foreign Ministry started analysing prospects for developing relations with Russia after President Dmitry Medvedev proposed the candidacy of present Prime Minister Vladimir Putin to the post of the country’s president.
“The new Russian stable leadership may achieve a breakthrough in the dead-end situation around the territorial problem, since the then Russian President Vladimir Putin and Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori confirmed at the 2001 meeting the relevant nature of the 1956 Joint Declaration, providing for a transfer to Japan of two of the four South Kurile islands,” claimed an official of the Japanese Foreign Ministry.
The Kyodo news agency notes that “Japanese-Russian relations sharply deteriorated after President Dmitry Medvedev was the first among Russian heads of state to visit Kunashir Island last November”.
On the other hand, the Japanese leading business newspaper Nikkei writes on Sunday that another high-ranking official of the Japanese Foreign Ministry reckons that “uncertainty around the territorial problem will persist after the election of Putin the Russian president”.
The diplomat substantiated his opinion by the fact that “there is no stable government in Japan now, which means there is no partner for holding complicated bilateral top-level talks”.
Another diplomat believes that “it is difficult now to speak of a possibility of progress in settling the territorial question, since Russia, relying on the growing economic might, displays rising confidence also in the sphere of diplomacy”.