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Understanding of Japan’s relations with US needed for discussion of peace treaty issues

February 12, 2018, 0:24 UTC+3 MOSXOW

According to the Russian top diplomat Sergey Lavrov, trade-and-economic relations have a very serious potential

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MOSXOW, February 11. /TASS/. It is next to impossible to discuss issues of a peace treaty between Moscow and Tokyo without understanding of nuances of Japan’s relations with the United States, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in an interview with the Deistvuyushchiye Litsva (Political Actors) with Nailya Asker-zade program on the Rossiya-1 television channel on Sunday.

"We would like to sign a peace treaty, as was agreed back in 1956, when the former Soviet Union and Japan adopted a joint declaration," he said. "We are convinced that any problem, including the signing of the peace treaty (and the Japanese make it dependent on the so-called issues of the four islands they call "Northern territories," which are in fact the Southern Kuril Island) can be resolved in a maximally favorable environment which can be created through close cooperation between the corresponding countries in absolutely all spheres: trade-and-economic, political, humanitarian and international."

According to the Russian top diplomat, trade-and-economic relations have a very serious potential, which is far from being exhausted. "I am confident that the complementarity of our economies, raw materials sectors, geographical possibilities and Japanese technologies has an non-exhaustible potential for further mutual progress," he said.

At the same time, the Russian foreign minister noted that Japan’s relations with the United States are of serious importance in issues of a peace treaty between Japan and Russia. "The treaty on security issues the United States signed with Japan in 1960 envisages that the United States has the right to deploy its bases in any part of Japan’s territory," the minister recalled. "We want simply to see how it tells on the general security situation in this region, because it is very difficult to discuss issues of the peace treaty without a clear picture of these nuances."

"The most important thing for us, and we have spoken about it with our Japanese friends more than once, question number one that arises when the problem of the peace treaty is raised is the inviolability of the results of World War II," Lavrov noted. "Our Japanese colleagues do not recognize World War II results as sustainable in what concerns these four islands. They tell us it straight that it was unfair."

The Russian minister pointed to the fact that according to the United Nations Charter, everything that was done by the winning states is inviolable and cannot be revised. "It is an issue that is directly linked with this subject, as we have repeatedly said that Russia, as a successor to the Soviet Union, is committed to the 1956 declaration which says that once the peace treaty is signed two southernmost islands will be transferred to Japan as a good will gesture," he said. "Naturally, such issues as when and on which conditions this transfer is to take place are subject to further discussion."

"But the most important thing about this declaration we have confirmed more than once in the person of the Russian president is that it relies on the inviolability of the results of World War II. And there will be rather serious consultations and discussions with the Japanese colleagues on that matter," Lavrov emphasized.

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