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Tokyo hosts new round of Russian-Japanese strategic dialogue

TOKYO, April 2. /TASS/. The fifteenth round of Russian-Japanese strategic dialogue at the level of first deputy foreign ministers was held in Tokyo on Tuesday. Russia and Japan were represented by Vladimir Titov and Takeo Akiba.

According to the Russian Foreign Ministry, the sides planned to discuss the issues of fostering bilateral ties, including the schedule of Russian-Japanese political dialogue, and also "trust-based exchange of views on vital issues of regional and global agenda with the focus on searching for common ground between the two countries."

The strategic dialogue at the level of Russian and Japanese first deputy foreign ministers was launched in January 2007. The latest talks in this format were held in April last year in Moscow. The two countries were also represented by Titov and Akiba.

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 key sticking point since after WWII the islands were handed over to the Soviet Union while Japan laid claims to the four southern islands.

In November 2018, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe held a meeting on the sidelines of the ASEAN summit in Singapore and agreed that the two countries would accelerate the pace of the peace negotiations based on the 1956 Joint Declaration. In December 2018 on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Buenos Aires Putin and Abe agreed on working out a mechanism of solving the problem. This effort is overseen by the Russian and Japanese Foreign Ministers, Sergey Lavrov and Taro Kono, and the direct talks are held between their deputies Igor Morgulov and Takeo Mori.