TOKYO, February 7. /TASS/. In order to progress at talks between Japan and Russia on the peace treaty, Japanese citizens should work together with the government to broaden their interest and understanding of the issue, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Thursday.
"For progressing in negotiations, it is very important for every citizen to deepen their interest and understanding of the problem, and the government should work together with the people as a whole," Abe said.
The Japanese prime minister noted that Tokyo intends to sign a peace treaty with Russia after the territorial dispute between the two countries is resolved. Japan will continue "promoting joint work on looking for a mutually acceptable" solution, Abe added.
For decades, Moscow and Tokyo have been negotiating a peace treaty after World War II. The main stumbling block is the status of the southern part of the Kuril Islands. After World War II, the whole archipelago became part of the Soviet Union. However, Tokyo disputes Russia's sovereignty over Iturup, Kunashir and Shikotan Islands as well as a number of smaller uninhabited islands called the Habomai Islands in Japan.