TOKYO, January 20. /TASS/. Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida is determined to advance peace treaty talks with Russia through building trust-based relations with Russian President Vladimir Putin, as Kishida himself said in response to questions from lawmakers at a plenary meeting of the upper house of parliament on Thursday.
"President Putin and I confirmed in a telephone call last year that we were determined to hold talks on a peace treaty between our countries. By boosting such contacts, I intend to seek to build personal relations of trust with the Russian president and move towards making a peace treaty based on the agreements that have already been made," Kishida said.
The Japanese prime minister said on January 19 that all of the southern Kuril Islands were the subject for dialogue with Russia. He emphasized that Japan’s sovereignty extended to those islands. According to Kishida, the issue of the islands requires a speedy solution and should not be left to future generations.
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.