According to the newspaper, some Japanese government officials agree with the Yachi’s position because from their point of view if Tokyo gains control over the disputed islands, they will become subject to the 1980 Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security between the United States and Japan.
The relations between Moscow and Tokyo have been affected by a long-time territorial dispute over the four islands, namely Shikotan, Habomai, Iturup and Kunashir, which Russia calls the Southern Kurils and Japan the Northern Territories. The dispute prevented the two sides from signing a peace treaty after World War II.
On Tuesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin told Japanese media outlets in an interview that the absence of the peace treaty was "an anachronism." He noted that joint economic activities on the South Kuril Islands could contribute to the development of mutual trust between the two countries. The Russian leader added that attempts to start talks with demands to transfer sovereignty over the Southern Kuril islands to Japan would result in the failure of the negotiations.