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TOKYO, March 19. /TASS/. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Thursday he believes that Moscow and Tokyo are united in seeking to remedy "the abnormal situation" that the two countries do not have a peace treaty after World War II.
The Japanese premier announced this at the meeting in his Tokyo residence with the students who won the competition for the best speech devoted to the Northern Territories (the term used in Japan to refer to the southern Kuril Islands).
"Unfortunately, there is no peace treaty between Japan and Russia," he said, adding: "I will conduct persistent talks aimed at returning the Northern Territories."
The leaders of the two countries have repeatedly called for continuing talks on concluding a peace treaty based on a decision that will be acceptable for both parties.
The Kuril Islands, which used to be Japan’s territory before WWII but became part of Russia as a result of the Manchurian Strategic Offensive Operation at the end of WWII, have been a source of dispute between Russia and Japan all through the post-war period.