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TOKYO, September 26. /TASS/. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said that the territorial dispute with Russia can’t be solved without dialogue at the top level.
Abe said that to journalists prior to departure for New York where he was supposed to attend a UN General Assembly session.
"The issue of the ‘Northern Territories’ [the way Japan calls Russia’s South Kuril islands] can’t be solved without interaction at the top level. I would like to directly discuss a broad range of issues, have a heart-to-heart talk," Abe said while commenting on a scheduled meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
On Friday, the Japanese premier said during a press conference in Tokyo that he plans to discuss with the Russian leader the territorial issue.
"During the scheduled meeting with President Putin, I would like to discuss the issue of the Northern Territories," he said.
The problem of the southern Kuril Islands is the key obstacle to a complete normalization of the Russian-Japanese ties and the signing of a peace treaty. After the Second World War, all Kuril Islands were made part of the Soviet Union. But Japan does not agree that the islands of Iturup, Kunashir, Shikotan and the Habomai island group belong to Russia. Tokyo calls the islands "Northern Territories".