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Territorial dispute not raised at talks in Japan — official

May 18, 8:48 UTC+3 TOKYO
We discussed the topic of developing bilateral economic relations, in particular in Russia’s Far East, Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said
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Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga

Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga

© AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi, File

TOKYO, May 18. /TASS/. The territorial dispute was not discussed at talks with Russian Deputy Prime Minister and Presidential Plenipotentiary Envoy to the Far Eastern Federal District Yury Trutnev, Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said on Wednesday.

"No, these issues were not raised. We discussed the topic of developing bilateral economic relations, in particular in Russia’s Far East," Suga told journalists. The issues of South Kuril Islands and Crimea were not raised, he noted.

Trutnev has earlier said he discussed with Suga developing relations in the sphere of attracting Japanese investment to Russia’s Far East. "We held a meeting with Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Mr (Yoshihide) Suga," Trutnev told Russian journalists on Wednesday. "We discussed the trip, discussed further development of relations in the sphere of investment by Japanese companies to Russia’s Far East," he added.

Trutnev noted that the sides agreed to prepare for the upcoming Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok in September, where Russian President Vladimir Putin is expected to hold a meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. "We agreed that we will try to do maximum work in the next three months before the forum, so that we can sum up the results and move forward more effectively," he said.

The Russian delegation led by Trutnev is finishing its three-day visit to Japan today. During the visit, the sides discussed developing bilateral cooperation at meeting with representatives of Japanese government and business circles.

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.

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