TOKYO, February 5. /TASS/. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is expected to visit Russia in April or May and hold a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Japan’s Asahi Shimbun newspaper said on its website on Friday.
"Prime Minister Abe plans to solve the territorial problem. For this he plans to make progress at talks through the dialogue with President Putin," the newspaper said.
The Russian side will decide on the timeframe and location of the meeting. Most likely, it will be one of Russia’s regions, according to the report.
"The current meeting is most likely to be informal and focus attention particularly on continuing the dialogue between the two leaders. No official documents will be signed," a Japanese government representative told the newspaper.
The Kremlin press service has not so far confirmed the plans for holding such a meeting.
On January 22, Putin and Abe reached an agreement in a phone conversation to continue personal contacts. "(The two sides) discussed in detail the development of the Russian-Japanese relations. They pointed to mutual interest in stepping up cooperation in the political, trade, economic, humanitarian and other fields. An agreement was reached on continuing personal contacts," the Kremlin press service said.
The long-running dispute over the Southern Kuril Islands has remained the main obstacle for the settlement in the relations between Russia and Japan and signing of the peace treaty since the end of WWII. After the end of the war, all the Kuril Islands were declared the territory of the Soviet Union. Japan claims Iturup, Kunashir, Shikotan and Khabomai as part of its territory.