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TOKYO, February 15. /TASS/. Moscow and Tokyo will continue political dialogue, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to the Russian Federation Harada Tikahito told a press conference on Friday.
"We once again confirmed the plans to fulfill the unofficial visit of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to Russia before Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to Japan. Moreover, we talked about Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s visit to Japan," Harada said after bilateral consultations.
"Talking about the problem of signing a peace treaty, we discussed resumption of talks on this matter and the agenda. We continue coordinating this issue," he added noting that the peace treaty was not discussed in detail at the bilateral consultations.
The sides also discussed the most pressing international issues, including the situation in Ukraine and Syria, Harada added. They "agreed to maintain close contacts, including on UN Security Council’s work" on North Korea’s problem, the diplomat added.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov and Harada Tikahito held consultations in Tokyo earlier today. Harada, who "is responsible for Japanese-Russian negotiations and consultations at the high level," noted that "Japanese-Russian relations have positive dynamics on the basis of continuing political dialogue."
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.