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TOKYO, February 25. /TASS/. Concluding a peace treaty between Japan and Russia is vital for peace and stability in East Asia and the whole world, a prominent expert in Russian-Japanese relations said on Wednesday.
Takeshi Tomita, a professor at Seikei University in Tokyo, made the following statement in a conversation with TASS on the occasion of the 90th anniversary since a treaty establishing diplomatic relations between the Soviet Union and Japan was ratified in Beijing.
"In the best interests of two countries as well as from positions of maintaining peace and stability in East Asia and the whole world, it is necessary to continue talks aimed at signing a peace treaty," Tomita told TASS.
The expert highlighted the importance of the Beijing treaty for the Soviet and Russian ties with Japan, saying that "establishing diplomatic relations between the Soviet Union and Imperial Japan corresponded to the interests of both countries."
"However, a friendly period in the Soviet-Japanese relations finished after the Manchurian incident [in 1932] and the Soviet Union's entry into the war against Japan," Tomita said, noting that opinion polls in 1949 showed that Japanese people had the most hostile attitude toward the Soviet Union. But this did not prevent Tokyo and Moscow from re-establishing diplomatic relations by signing a joint declaration in 1956, he said.
Japan and Russia should demonstrate flexibility in further discussions on the territorial dispute between the two states and the issue of signing a peace treaty, the expert added. "The parties should look for a compromise solution respecting their national interests," he said.
The Beijing treaty between the Soviet Union and Japan was signed on January 20, 1925 and entered into force on January 25 that same year. Under the treaty, the parties agreed to establish diplomatic and consular relations and launched official economic cooperation.
The two countries have conflicting claims over string of islands called the Southern Kuriles in Russia and the Northern Territories in Japan. Clashes over sovereignty date from the end of World War Two. The dispute has prevented the two from finalising a peace treaty for nearly 70 years.