TOKYO, December 24. /TASS/. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has expressed the intention on Wednesday to work towards the solution of the territorial dispute with Russia and signing a peace treaty.
“At a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Beijing we held a constructive dialogue on various issues,” Abe said at a news conference on the occasion of his re-election to the post of the government head. The preparation for (the Russian leader’s) visit to Japan should be currently underway, Abe said. “I intend to work further towards the settlement of the Northern Territories problem and signing of a peace treaty (with Moscow) that would respect the state interests of both countries,” he said. Japan regards as its "Northern Territories" the islands of the southern Kuril chain that belong to Russia. The four disputed islands are: Kunashir, Iturup, Shikotan and the Habomai Islets.
Commenting on the situation around Ukraine, the Japanese prime minister also expressed hope for “the earliest peaceful settlement of the conflict."
During the news conference Abe also called for the strengthening of friendly relations with China and South Korea. In addition, he thanked the parliament members for the support and pledged to fulfil all the promises he has given to the electorate. Abe called for focusing on the “Abenomics” successes and said he intended to provide support to small-and medium-sized businesses, as well as to the promotion of women in society. Abenomics — the economic policies that Abe supports, include an aggressive set of monetary, fiscal, and structural reforms geared toward spurring inflation and pulling Japan out of its decades-long deflationary slump.
Shinzo Abe was re-elected as Japan's prime minister Wednesday at a special Diet (national parliament) session convened after his Liberal Democratic Party won a landslide victory in the December 14 lower house general election, obtaining a fresh public mandate, Kyodo news agency reported. Prior to the session, the Cabinet resigned to clear the way for Abe to form a new Cabinet later in the day, but most members will likely be reappointed, except for scandal-hit Defence Minister Akinori Eto who, according to LDP sources, will be replaced by former Defence Agency chief Gen Nakatani, 57.