TOKYO, December 13. /TASS/. The Japanese Foreign Ministry has officially announced the program of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to Japan. On December 15, Putin will arrive at the airport in the Yamaguchi prefecture on the south-west side of the Honshu Island. The Russian president will hold a meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in the city of Nagato.
On December 16, Putin will arrive in Tokyo. He will again hold talks with Abe, and the two leaders will then hold a joint press conference.
Putin and Abe will also participate in the "Russian-Japanese business dialogue" together with representatives of business circles of the two countries. The forum is organized by the Japanese Business Federation and Russian associations of entrepreneurs. The leaders of the two countries will also visit Kodokan Judo Institute.
On the same day, the Russian leader will wrap up his visit to Japan.
Japan’s Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida said at a press conference on Tuesday that he plans to attend the meeting of leaders of the two countries in Nagato. "I will go to Yamaguchi (prefecture)," he said. "I will accompany the prime minister." The discussion on the details of the visit’s program is continuing, he added.
"There is a difficult problem in our relations, it cannot be solved at one meeting. There is the need to go step by step. We’d most like to solve this problem within the lifetime of our generation," Kishida said.
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.