TOKYO, April 13. /TASS/. Tokyo expects to discuss the conclusion of a peace treaty with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov who is due to meet with his Japanese counterpart Fumio Kishida on Friday, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters.
"We expect that at the meeting of the foreign ministers on April 15 a deep discussion will be held on a peace treaty. In line with the agreement between the leaders, we should find a solution to the problem that both sides can accept," Suga said at a press conference in Tokyo.
Suga also commented on Lavrov’s recent interview with Mongolian, Japanese and Chinese mass media. "The statements made by the Russian foreign minister show that Moscow is set to discuss with Tokyo the issue of concluding a peace treaty," he said.
In the interview on Tuesday, Lavrov said the prospects for concluding a peace treaty between Russia and Japan cannot be reduced to the territorial issue. The only document which was signed and ratified by both parties - the Joint Declaration of 1956 - says that the parties renounce any claims against each other, and the immediate task is to sign a peace treaty. Lavrov also noted that Moscow and Tokyo are preparing for another round of talks on the possible conclusion of the treaty.
The long-running dispute over the Southern Kuril Islands remains the main obstacle for the settlement in the relations between Russia and Japan and signing of the peace treaty. After the end of World War II, all the Kuril Islands were declared the territory of the Soviet Union. Japan claims Iturup, Kunashir, Shikotan and Khabomai as part of its territory.