SINGAPORE, November 15. /TASS/. Talks with Japan over a peace treaty based on the 1956 Declaration require serious groundwork, Russian President Vladimir Putin said after his visit to Singapore.
"Yesterday, indeed, during our meeting, Prime Minister [of Japan Shinzo Abe] said that Japan was ready to resume talks on the basis of the 1956 Declaration. But this certainly demands separate, additional and in depth analysis, given that not everything is clear in that Declaration, as you heard I’ve just said about that," Putin said.
Putin recalled that the 1956 Declaration stipulates that after signing the peace treaty the Soviet Union would be ready to return two islands to Japan. "It neither says on what ground to return them nor under what sovereignty these islands will remain nor on what basis this may be done. But it defined the Soviet Union’s readiness," he noted.
After the meeting between Putin and Abe, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters that the two leaders had agreed on intensifying Russian-Japanese talks on the peace treaty based on the 1956 Declaration. In his turn, Abe told reporters after meeting with Putin that he would visit Russia in early 2019 and also voiced confidence that the two leaders would be able to solve the territorial dispute and ink the peace deal.
The Soviet-Japanese Joint Declaration on ending the war between the two countries and restoring diplomatic and consular relations was signed in Moscow on October 1956. Article 9 of the document says that the Soviet government agreed to hand over to Japan Shikotan Island and some small uninhabited islands of the Lesser Kuril Chain (which Japan calls Habomai) provided that their actual transfer to Japan’s control would be carried out after the conclusion of a peace treaty. The two states ratified the Declaration on December 8, 1956. No peace treaty has been signed so far.