NOVOSIBIRSK, October 13. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin and Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe may hold a meeting within the framework of the East Asia summit in Singapore in November, Minister Plenipotentiary of the Japanese Embassy in Russia, Mission Deputy Head Aiki Toshihiro told TASS on Saturday.
"As for the East Asia summit in Singapore, the possibilities of a meeting between the heads of both states are not ruled out. Simply it has not been determined yet when and under what circumstances their meeting will take place," Toshihiro said.
Putin and Abe met in September in Vladivostok where they held bilateral talks on the eve of the Eastern Economic Forum, and also visited Japan’s Mazda factory in the Primorye Territory. According to Toshihiro, the leaders of both countries agreed after their meeting in Vladivostok that they would hold more meetings.
During the Eastern Economic Forum’s plenary session on September 12, Putin suggested concluding a peace treaty between Moscow and Tokyo without any preconditions before the end of the year. Commenting on the initiative, the Japanese Foreign Ministry told TASS that Tokyo would engage in talks with Russia on the peace treaty only after the territorial dispute is settled.
Since the mid-20th century, Russia and Japan have been holding consultations 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, however, a peace treaty has still not been reached. Moscow has stated many times that Russia’s sovereignty over the islands could not be questioned.