TOKYO, February 7. /TASS/. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe vowed on Wednesday that he will "put an end" to the unsolved Russia-Japan peace treaty issue jointly with the Russian president, a TASS correspondent reported.
"The situation when Russia and Japan have had no peace treaty for 72 years since the war was over is abnormal. Me and president [Vladimir] Putin will put an end to this problem that persists during the entire post-war period," he said at a nationwide rally for the return of Southern Kuril Islands.
"If the situation allows, I will visit Russia in May, and during the top-level talks I’m going to raise the peace treaty issue," he said
The head of the Japanese government said he already had 20 meetings with the Russian president and that both leaders are determined to solve the existing problems.
Russia and Japan have been in talks to sign a peace treaty since the middle of last century. The main stumbling block to this is the issue of sovereignty over 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. Russia’s Foreign Ministry has stated on numerous occasions that Russia’s sovereignty over the islands is beyond doubt.