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TOKYO, February 1. /TASS/. Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, has expressed the desire to personally sign a peace treaty between the two countries with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
"I have no intention of handing over the baton," he said answering lawmakers’ questions in the lower house of parliament on Wednesday. He emphasized once again that "the situation when a peace treaty between the two countries has not been signed for over 70 years is abnormal."
Abe said earlier in the day that he would like to pay an official visit to Russia as soon as possible. Speaking about the joint economic activities with Russia on the South Kuril Islands, he noted that it will make it possible "to enhance mutual understanding and trust and will be a huge positive factor on the way towards signing a peace treaty."
The Russian president’s visit to Japan that took place on December 15-16 was devoted to the peace treaty and the South Kuril Islands issue as well as bilateral economic cooperation. After the talks, Vladimir Putin and Shinzo Abe adopted a statement saying an the beginning of consultations of the joint Moscow-Tokyo economic activities on the South Kuril Islands could be an important step towards signing a peace treaty.