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TOKYO, February 9. /TASS/. The next round of consultations between Moscow and Tokyo at the level of deputy foreign ministers will be held on February 15 in the Japanese capital, Japan’s Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida told a press conference on Tuesday.
"Preparations are underway for the meeting of the Japanese and Russian deputy foreign ministers on February 15 in Tokyo," Kishida said adding that he will "promote organizing the meeting of the Japanese and Russian leaders."
A source in the Russian Foreign Ministry previously told TASS that "the upcoming meeting will be held in the routine mode in the framework of Russia-Japanese consultations on the peace treaty in February."
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe agreed to speed up work on a peace treaty in April 2013.
The first round of talks was held in Tokyo in January 2014. Since then, new consultations were repeatedly postponed. Moscow said the pause was not coming from the Russian side.
The second round of the consultations between Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov and his Japanese counterpart Shinsuke Sugiyama took place last October in Moscow.
Russia and Japan have no peace treaty signed after World War II. Settlement of the problem inherited by Russia’s diplomacy from the Soviet Union is hampered by the years-long dispute over the four islands of Russia’s Southern Kurils - Shikotan, Khabomai, Iturup and Kunashir, which Japan calls its northern territories.
After World War II, in September 1945, Japan signed the capitulation, and in February 1946, the Kuril Islands were declared territories of the Soviet Union.
During the Cold War, Moscow did not recognize the territorial problem, but in October 1993, when Russian president Boris Yeltsin was on an official visit in Japan, the existence of the problem was confirmed officially. However, the two countries have reached no compromise over the dispute yet.