TOKYO, January 28. /TASS/. Tokyo seeks to step up its talks with Moscow on a peace treaty, boost cooperation with China and believes that its alliance with the United States is the basis of its policy, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Monday delivering his program speech at the opening of the parliament session.
"The alliance with the United States is the foundation of Japan’s foreign policy and ensuring its security," Abe stressed, noting that Tokyo’s close cooperation with Washington has become "even stronger than earlier" and "has a great containment power."
At the same time, Tokyo will enhance its own efforts in the defense sector given the changing environment. "It’s impossible to counter new threats only by strengthening ground, naval and military and air forces," Abe stressed, also noting the need to bolster cyber and space security.
"As for Russia, our nations will deepen mutual trust and friendship, solve their territorial problem and sign a peace treaty," Abe said. "Together with [Russian President Vladimir] Putin we share the determination to put an end to this issue, which has been in place for more than 70 years after the war, without leaving it for the future generations."
The talks on that would be bolstered based on the 1956 Soviet-Japanese Joint Declaration, which stipulated handing over to Tokyo the South Kuril Island of Shikotan and a number of neighboring uninhabited small islands on condition that their actual passage under Tokyo’s control would take place after signing a peace treaty.
The premier said Japan’s relations with China of late have returned to normal. Both countries are determined to shift from rivalry to cooperation and are not planning to pose a threat to each other, and call for developing free and fair trade. Unlike his previous speeches, this time Abe did not voice concerns over Beijing’s military efforts.
Speaking on North Korea, Abe stressed the need to "break the shell of mutual distrust" and make efforts to solve the problems linked to Pyongyang’s missile and nuclear program and the Japanese citizens abducted earlier by North Korean special services. "I’m personally ready for direct contacts with [North Korean leader] Kim Jong-un," the premier said. "I will act decisively and won’t miss a single chance."
Abe emphasized that he would seek to normalize ties with Pyongyang based on close cooperation with the United States and South Korea.