MOSCOW, August 25./TASS/. Moscow anticipates that tomorrow’s peace treaty consultations between Russian and Japanese diplomats will be productive, Russia’s Foreign Ministry’s spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said.
"We expect them [the negotiations] to be prolific, constructive. The outcome of our leaders’ meeting has given this work its relevant impetus".
The Japanese Special Envoy for Relations with Russia, Tikahito Hirada, and Russian Deputy Foreign Minister, Igor Morgulov, will represent their respective governments at the consultations scheduled for August 26.
Russia and Japan have been in talks to fully mend bilateral relations and sign a peace treaty for decades. The main stumbling block to this is the issue of the ownership of the southern Kuril Islands. After the end of World War II the Kuril Islands were incorporated into the Soviet Union. However, the ownership of Iturup, Kunashir, Shikotan islands and the Habomai Islands is challenged by Japan. In 1956, the Soviet Union and Japan signed a joint declaration on ceasing the state of war, however no peace treaty has been signed until now.