Japan Intends to Continue Talks With Russia on Disputed Territories - PM

© AP Photo / Shizuo KambayashiJapanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe - Sputnik International
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Prime Minister said that Japan intends to continue intensive negotiations with Russia aimed at signing a piece treaty and a solution to the issue of the Kuril Islands.

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe speaks during a news conference at his official residence in Tokyo September 25, 2015 - Sputnik International
Japanese Foreign Minister Says Abe Russia Visit Possible
TOKYO (Sputnik) Japan intends to continue intensive negotiations with Russia aimed at signing a piece treaty and a solution to the issue of the Kuril Islands, called the Northern Territories in Japan, the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Thursday.

"We would like to continue persistent talks [with Russia] in order to make an old dream of the former islands' inhabitants come true," Abe said in a conversation with the mayor of Nemuro city where some former Kuril inhabitants currently live.

Japan continues to closely watch Russian activity on the Kuril Islands and will react accordingly, according Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga.

Earlier this week, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu announced Russia's plans to build at least 392 buildings and other structures, including garrisons integrating developed infrastructure, on the islands of Kunashiri and Etorofu.

The Kuril Islands are the subject of a long-standing territorial dispute between Russia and Japan. Japan has claimed the islands of Kunashiri, Etorofu, Shikotan and on the Habomai group of islets dividing the Sea of Okhotsk from the Pacific ocean. The territorial dispute has prevented Russia and Japan from signing a peace treaty.

The relations between the two countries deteriorated after Tokyo announced support for Western economic sanctions against Russia imposed in 2014 over an alleged interference in an armed conflict in eastern Ukraine, which Moscow has denied.

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