TOKYO (Sputnik) – Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed hope on Friday that cooperation of Russia and Japan on the Kuril islands would create a favorable atmosphere for talks on a peace treaty between the countries.
"Resolving this issue requires painstaking work to build mutual trust and all-round development of the entire range of Russian-Japanese relations. In this context, Mr [Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo] Abe and I supported an initiative of establishing joint economic activities on the Southern Kurils. We hope that such cooperation will contribute to creating a favorable atmosphere for the continuation of negotiations on the conclusion of a peace treaty," Putin told a joint press conference with Abe.
The Kuril Islands are the subject of the long-standing territorial dispute between Russia and Japan. Japan lays claims to Kunashir, Iturup, Shikotan islands and the Habomai group of islets. The territorial dispute has prevented Russia and Japan from signing a peace treaty after World War II.
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