TOKYO, February 25. /TASS/. Japan’s government has decided to send Head of National Security Council Shotaro Yachi to the US to clarify Tokyo’s plans to step up dialogue with Russia, NHK TV channel reported on Thursday.
Yachi will leave for Washington on Monday to hold talks with US National Security Advisor Susan Rice and other officials of the US administration. He seeks Washington’s understanding on plans of Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to visit Russia in late May ahead of G7 summit.
Tokyo hopes this will become a step forward in solving the problem over concluding a peace treaty with Moscow and resolving the decades-old territorial dispute with Russia over the Southern Kurils.
Earlier this month, US President Barack Obama asked the Japanese premier in a phone conversation not to pay such a visit, Japan’s media reports said. The US leader said the reason was that the positions of Moscow and Washington on Ukraine and Syria differ, according to the Kyodo news agency said.
Last Saturday, the Japanese prime minister said he seeks to continue dialogue with Russian President Vladimir Putin to find the solution to the territorial dispute.
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 Kurils - 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.