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Peace Treaty to Bring Japanese-Russian Ties to New Level – Japanese Ambassador

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MOSCOW (Sputnik) - A long-awaited peace treaty between Russia and Japan would take their relationship to the next level, Japanese Ambassador Toyohisa Kozuki told Sputnik on Wednesday.

"We are convinced that signing a peace treaty after solving the territorial problem would bring Japanese-Russian relations to a new, higher level. The Japanese government will continue efforts to get to that end goal," he said.

READ MORE: Japan Declassifies Historic Docs on Kuril Islands Talks With US

The ambassador's statement comes after former Russian ambassador to Japan Alexander Panov told Sputnik last week that a possible peace treaty with Japan could help Russia to alleviate its concerns over the US military presence in Japan.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, left, and Russian President Vladimir Putin come down on the escalator after their talks in Vladivostok, Russia, Friday, Sept. 2, 2016 - Sputnik International
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Prior to that, Russian President Vladimir Putin gave a press conference, during which he emphasized that security issues were crucial to the talks on the Russia-Japan peace deal, underlining further that Moscow was extremely concerned with the US military presence in the neighboring state.

Russia and Japan have been technically at war after failing to sign a post-WWII peace treaty. Japan claims four disputed islands off its northern tip called the Southern Kurils in Russia. Moscow and Tokyo restored diplomatic ties after signing a declaration in 1956, in which the then Soviet Union offered to return two of the islets, Habomai and Shikotan, to Japan.

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