MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Russia and Japan failed to strike a post-WWII peace deal over the Kuril island row. A 1956 joint declaration between the two nations linked the bilateral peace treaty to the handover of the four islands to Japan. Almost 60 years after, the agreement is still up in the air and the island row shows no signs of abating.
"When we speak to our Japanese colleagues, they respond ambiguously to our question on whether they recognize the outcome of the Second World War: in general, yes, but not quite when it comes to the southern Kuril Islands."
Lavrov added that Russia’s perception of the WWII outcome is "shared by almost every other country in the world."
"When asked what to do with the Charter, which stipulates that the WWII outcome cannot be reversed, they [the Japanese] tell us that it should be changed occasionally. This position is unacceptable to us," the minister stressed.
Russia maintains that the status of the Southern Kuril Islands was stipulated by the 1951 San Francisco Peace Treaty that handed over the control of four islands to Russia.
Japan regards the islands – stretching from Russia's Kamchatka Peninsula to Japan's northernmost Hokkaido Island – as "occupied northern territories." Earlier this year, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe again vowed to reclaim the land.