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Russian senator calls not to link Putin’s visit to Japan only with territorial issue

October 18, 9:57 UTC+3 TOKYO
Russia and Japan have no peace treaty signed after World War II due to the years-long dispute over the four islands of Russia’s Southern Kurils that Japan considers its northern territories
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©  ITAR-TASS/Yury Smityuk

TOKYO, October 18. /TASS/. Moscow and Tokyo have certain expectations over the December visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin to Japan, but it is wrong to link it only with solving the territorial dispute, senior Russian senator Konstantin Kosachev told Japan’s NTV channel.

Kosachev, who heads the Russian upper house’s foreign affairs committee, attended the Russian-Japanese forum in Tokyo on Monday devoted to the 60th anniversary of restoring diplomatic relations between the two countries after signing the Soviet-Japanese Joint Declaration of 1956.

"Like the Japanese side, we have certain expectations over this visit, there is no doubt in this," Kosachev said, adding that it would be "wrong to link these expectations exclusively with the issue of the territorial problem."

Speaking about relations of Putin and Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Kosachev said that they are based on trust. "These are relations of people who are ready to listen to and hear each other," he said.

In early September, Putin and Abe met in Russia’s Vladivostok during the Eastern Economic Forum (EEF) and agreed to step up bilateral talks. They decided to meet in Peru at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in November.

Now Tokyo and Moscow are actively preparing for Putin’s visit to Japan scheduled for December. In October, Japan’s Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida is expected to visit Russia. In early November, Russian Federation Council Speaker Valentina Matviyenko may pay a visit to Tokyo. Also in November, the bilateral intergovernmental commission on trade and economic issues is due to be held in Tokyo. It will be attended by Russian First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov.

Russia and Japan have no peace treaty signed after World War II. The settlement of this 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, Habomai, Iturup and Kunashir, which Japan calls its northern territories.

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