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Japanese top diplomat confident Tokyo, Moscow will sign peace treaty

Japan’s top diplomat praises relations with Moscow

MOSCOW, November 24. /TASS/. Tokyo and Moscow will be able to sign a peace treaty, Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono said on Friday after talks with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov.

"I’m sure about concluding the peace treaty and I’m confident that today’s meeting served as a step forward in this direction," he said.

Japan’s top diplomat also noted the importance of trust-based Japanese-Russian relations. "While developing bilateral relations, we are deepening mutual confidence between our peoples," he said.

Kono said he will meet with Lavrov again in the run-up to the top-level talks due next May.

"Mr. Lavrov and I have agreed to hold a meeting of the Japanese and Russian foreign ministers while getting ready for the summit, which is expected in May," he said following talks with Russia’s top diplomat.

The Japanese minister noted that, "thanks to the responsible dialogue between the two countries’ leaders, the Japanese-Russian relations received huge boost." "To ensure their further development, it is necessary for the foreign ministers to meet more often too," he added.

"In addition to an important top-level meeting, we believe that meetings and negotiations between the foreign ministers are very important as well," he said. "We have agreed that Mr. Lavrov will visit Japan to continue a frank dialogue and get ready for the upcoming (top-level) meeting."

"I would thus like, together with my counterpart, to move, step by step, towards our common coal, namely, the signing of a peace treaty," Kono noted.

North Korea’s missile launches

Kono went on to say that North Korea’s missile launches towards Japan are unacceptable.

"As for nuclear tests and the launch of missiles which fly over Japan, they pose an unprecedented threat not only to Japan but also to the entire global community. It is absolutely unacceptable," Kono said.

Tokyo does not seek to change the North Korean regime but believes it necessary to increase pressure on Pyongyang. "Japan has never sought to use force in order to change any regimes, but we consider it necessary to use all the possible tools to increase pressure on North Korea to make it abandon its nuclear and missile programs," Taro Kono said.

According to him, Japan commends the United States’ stance on the North Korea issue. "Washington has assured us that in order to protect South Korea and Japan all the possible deterrence tools will be mobilized," the Japanese foreign minister pointed out.

"To denuclearize the Korean Peninsula, the United Nations Security Council resolution should be implemented, in this connection we stand together with our Russian counterparts," he stressed. "We have agreed to continue close cooperation in this field," the Japanese top diplomat added.