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TOKYO, September 24. /TASS/. Japan and Russia should continue dialogue to find a mutually acceptable solution to the territorial problem, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said on Thursday, commenting on the results of Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida’s recent visit to Moscow.
"It is necessary to continue dialogue between the two states to find a solution [to the territorial dispute] that would be acceptable for both sides. This understanding was reiterated [at the talks] with [Russian Foreign Minister Sergey] Lavrov," he said.
He also pledged Japan would continue preparations to organize a visit by Russian President Vladimir Putin before the yearend. We plan to continue preparations for a visit to Japan [by the Russian president] so that it could take place at a suitable date this year, Kyodo quoted him as saying.
According to the Japanese mass media, Kishida met on Thursday morning with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to inform the later about his talks with the Russian foreign minister.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said after his talks with Kishida on September 21 that the problem of "northern territories" [a term used in Japan to refer to Russia’s Southern Kuril Island] was not a subject for dialogue at negotiations between the foreign ministers of Russia and Japan. "Neither the northern territories of Japan nor the northern territories of Russia are the subject of our dialogue. The conclusion of a peace treaty is the only item on the agenda," the Russian foreign minister stressed.
"The Russian approaches rest on all the agreements, which have been reached until recently, and they remain unchanged. For example, we reminded the Japanese side that progress on the issue was possible only after we got clarity on whether Japan recognized the postwar historical realities, including the United Nations charter in full measure," Lavrov said.
Lavrov also said that Moscow would consider Tokyo’s proposals on concrete date of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to Japan. "As for a visit to Japan by the Russian president, Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has invited Vladimir Putin to pay such visit," the Russian minister said. "This invitation has been accepted, so we expect the hosts to appoint concrete date," he said. "We will be ready to consider corresponding proposals.".