TOKYO, December 6. /TASS/. Tokyo will seek a comprehensive development of relations with Moscow, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said in his policy speech at the start of an extraordinary session of the country’s parliament on Monday.
"As for Russia, we will seek a comprehensive development of relations based on our position aimed at resolving the territorial dispute and making a peace treaty," he pointed out.
Kishida emphasized that his government would employ firm diplomacy in relations with neighboring countries, guided by Japan’s national interests, in order to maintain regional peace and stability.
For decades, Moscow and Tokyo have been holding consultations in order to clinch a peace treaty as a follow-up to World War II. The southern Kuril Islands issue remains the key sticking point. In 1945, the whole archipelago was handed over to the Soviet Union. Tokyo laid claims to Iturup, Kunashir, Shikotan and a group of uninhabited islands. The Russian Foreign Ministry has repeatedly stated that Moscow’s sovereignty over the islands is enshrined in international law and cannot be called into question.