Russia, Japan have opposite positions on territorial problem

TOKYO, May 31 (RIA Novosti) - Russia and Japan failed to solve the territorial problems and conclude the final treaty, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in Tokyo.

"This is a complicated [territorial] problem and it needs time [to resolve]," he said at a press conference.

According to him, Russia and Japan have opposite positions on the territorial problem.

"We do not hold any backroom negotiations on the territorial problem. Our positions have remained unchanged. They are opposite. However, we are ready for further dialogue to find a better understanding of ways to solve this problem. It should be coordinated with public opinions in both countries," Lavrov said.

The exact date of the Russian president's visit to Japan has not been fixed yet, he added.

"We agreed that Vladimir Putin would visit Japan by the end of 2005. The date of the visit will be fixed later," the minister said.

"The visit should be well-prepared and mark an important step towards constructive development of bilateral relations," he added.

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