Currently, only Japanese citizens who had previously lived on the islands, or their relatives, can visit the area without a Russian visa.
Japan and Russia never signed a permanent peace treaty after World War II due to a disagreement over four islands, which Russia calls the Southern Kurils and Japan the Northern Territories. The disputed islands, located in the Sea of Okhotsk, were claimed by Soviet forces at the end of the war.
Putin met with Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok on September 2-3, discussing the territorial dispute between the two countries.
Abe said earlier this week that Japan would insist on its sovereignty claims over the four islands.