TOKYO, April 25. /TASS/. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe expects that progress will be made during his upcoming talks on the peace treaty with Russian President Vladimir Putin, the Kyodo news agency reported citing Abe who addressed a closed reception in Tokyo.
"Through close cooperation with Mr. Putin, I would like to achieve progress on the peace treaty issue," said Abe who is scheduled to visit Russia on April 27.
Earlier on Tuesday, the Kremlin press service announced that President Vladimir Putin would hold talks with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on April 27. According to the press service, the two leaders will discuss the implementation of the agreements reached during the Russian president’s visit to Japan on December 15-16, 2016. They are also expected to exchange views on the current state of bilateral relations and the prospects for political, economic and humanitarian cooperation, as well as on a number of pressing global and regional issues.
Russia and Japan have been holding consultations since the mid-20th century in order to clinch a peace treaty as a follow-up to World War II. The Kuril Islands issue remains the sticking point since after WWII the islands were handed over to the Soviet Union while Japan has laid claims to the four southern islands.
In 1956, the two countries signed a common declaration on ending the state of war and restoring diplomatic and all other relations, but the islands issue was not solved. At the same time, the Soviet Union expressed readiness to hand the Shikotan and Habomai islands over to Japan as a gesture of goodwill.
However, a peace treaty has still not been reached.