TOKYO, December 1. /TASS/. Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has pledged to settle the territorial dispute over the Kuril Islands and conclude a peace treaty with Russia. He said this during a meeting with the mayor of Nemuro.
Last May, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Russia was sincerely interested in settlement of the dispute, but it was unclear how to “reach a draw”.
Russia and Japan have no peace treaty signed after World War II. Settlement of the problem inherited by Russia’s diplomacy from the Soviet Union is hampered by the years-long dispute over the four islands of Russia’s Southern Kuriles — Shikotan, Khabomai, Iturup and Kunashir, which Japan calls its northern territories.
After World War II, in September 1945, Japan signed the capitulation, and in February 1946, the Kuril Islands were declared territories of the Soviet Union.
During the cold war, Moscow did not recognize the territorial problem, but in October 1993, when Russian president Boris Yeltsin was on an official visit in Japan, the existence of the problem was confirmed officially. However, the two countries have reached no compromise over the dispute yet.