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Japan expects constructive dialogue with Russia — diplomat

June 22, 9:47 UTC+3 TOKYO
Another round of the Russian-Japanese consultations on a peace treaty will take place in Tokyo on Wednesday
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© AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko

TOKYO, June 22. /TASS/. Tokyo expects to promote constructive dialogue with Moscow, including by political contacts at different levels, Japan’s special envoy for relations with Russia Chikahito Harada said on Wednesday.

Another round of the Russian-Japanese consultations on a peace treaty will take place in Tokyo on Wednesday. Japan will be represented by Harada and Russia by Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov.

"I hope for the advancement of fruitful talks. Of late, the relations between our countries have seen a positive dynamics due to a frequent political dialogue," Harada said. The examples of such cooperation are the meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in early May in Sochi, the talks between foreign ministers of the two countries in Tokyo and regular bilateral consultations, he said.

"The meeting between the leaders of our countries contributed to the development of bilateral relations in general," he added.

Morgulov said he is "ready for comprehensive cooperation with the Japanese side and expects constructive talks in line with agreements reached at the highest level." He said "today there are plans to discuss the issues of a peace treaty."

The last time Morgulov and Harada met on February 15. The sides discussed a broad range of the Russian-Japanese relations and the most topical issues of the international agenda, including the situation in Ukraine and Syria.

Russia and Japan have been in talks to fully mend bilateral relations and sign a peace treaty for decades. The main stumbling block is the long-running dispute over the Southern Kuril Islands. 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. In 1956, the Soviet Union and Japan signed a joint declaration on ending the state of war, however no peace treaty has been signed so far.

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