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Japanese foreign minister calls for leveling up general relations with Russia

December 26, 2013, 15:20 UTC+3 TOKYO
According to Kishida, the consultations, in addition to the peace treaty issue, would focus on other matters
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Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov

Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov

© ITAR-TASS/Alexandra Mudrats

TOKYO, December 26. /ITAR-TASS/. Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida on Thursday called for leveling up the general relations with Russia, which, in his view, would make it possible to eventually sign a peace treaty with Russia. The minister also told a news conference in Tokyo that new bilateral consultations on a peace treaty would be held in the Japanese capital on January 31, 2014. The two countries’ deputy foreign ministers Igor Morgulov and Shinsuke Sugiyama will take part in them.

According to Kishida, the consultations, in addition to the peace treaty issue, would focus on other matters, in particular, economic cooperation issues. “I hope that through the discussions, Japan-Russia relations will be shored up as a whole, and that, in turn, will produce outcomes in the discussions about the Northern Territories issue and the issue of concluding a peace treaty,” Kishida told a news conference.

The two sides reached an agreement to hold consultations on the peace treaty at the level of deputy foreign ministers during Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s visit to Moscow in April. The first round of this dialogue with the participation of Igor Morgulov and Shinsuke Sugiyama has already taken place in the Russian capital on August 19. By agreement between the two countries, the details of the ongoing negotiations are not disclosed.

Russia and Japan do not have a peace treaty on the results of the Second World War. The dispute over the southern part of the Kuril Islands impedes its signing. Japanese Foreign Minister Kishida had previously stated that subsequent rounds of negotiations on a peace treaty might also be held at the level of ministers and supreme leaders of the two countries.

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