MOSCOW, January 18. /TASS/. Russia invited Japan to sign a peace treaty outlining the principles of mutual respect and good neighborliness, but Tokyo rejected the offer, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told a press conference on Russian diplomacy in 2022 on Wednesday.
Lavrov recalled that 5-6 years ago, the leaders of the two countries were actively working on such a document, and the issue was discussed by the Russian and Japanese authorities at regular meetings.
"At a certain point, the Japanese said: ‘We don’t need a big peace treaty like the one you are suggesting.’ We proposed a detailed peace treaty, outlining principles of cooperation based on mutual respect, mutual interests and good neighborliness. It described the guidelines for economic, investment, and humanitarian cooperation. Border issues were to be determined on its basis. They refused and said: ‘No, why do we need some kind of wordy document? We need a more specific one," he said.
Lavrov recalled that although the heads of the two countries had agreed to sign a peace treaty first and then resolve the territorial issue, Japan wanted it the other way around. Lavrov added that at that moment he turned to a Japanese specialist whose opinion he trusted. The specialist said that "if the Japanese suddenly realize that they will not get these four islands, they will take a place among the most ardent opponents of Russia."
In this context, Lavrov recalled that last year, at the UN General Assembly voting on Russia’s resolution on the inadmissibility of glorifying Nazism, Japan, Germany and Italy opposed it for the first time. "On all previous occasions they abstained. Now, when in Ukraine we are confronted (with) how Nazism is glorified and penetrating into all spheres of life not in theory, but in practice, the show of hands by the representatives of the three former Axis countries looks quite symbolic," he concluded.