MOSCOW, November 28. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will meet in Buenos Aires on December 1 to discuss a mechanism for the conclusion of a peace treaty, Kremlin aide Yuri Ushakov told reporters.
"Talks with Abe are scheduled for (December 1)," he stated. "As we know, the leaders have agreed to step up the negotiation process based on the 1956 Joint Declaration. A special negotiation mechanism will be created for this purpose, and, as we believe, the President and the Prime Minister will discuss this mechanism at a meeting in Buenos Aires, which will be announced afterwards."
Ushakov recalled that the Russian president had proposed at the plenary session of the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok that Moscow and Tokyo sign the peace treaty without preliminary conditions. Also, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters following the Putin-Abe meeting in Singapore that the parties had agreed to beef up bilateral negotiations on the peace treaty. The Japanese Prime Minister in turn said that he would come to Russia in early 2019 and hoped that the leaders of both counties would be able to resolve the territorial dispute and sign the peace treaty.
The Soviet-Japanese Joint Declaration on ending the state of war between the two countries and restoring diplomatic and consular relations was signed in Moscow on October 19, 1956. Article 9 of the document says that the Soviet government agreed to hand over Shikotan Island and several small uninhabited islands of the Lesser Kuril Chain (which Japan calls Habomai) to Japan provided that their actual transfer to Tokyo’s control would happen after a peace treaty was concluded. The two states ratified the Declaration on December 8, 1956.