"Certainly, this will become a big plus for conclusion of a peace treaty," Abe told the NHK broadcaster in an interview, recorded Friday.
In December, Russian President Vladimir Putin visited Japan to meet with Abe. As a result, the sides agreed to establish joint economic activities on the Southern Kurils in a bid to create a favorable atmosphere for talks on a peace treaty between the countries.
Moscow and Tokyo never signed a permanent peace treaty after the World War II due to a disagreement over the group of islands, which Russia calls the Southern Kurils and Japan the Northern Territories, encompassing Iturup, Kunashir, Shikotan and Habomai.
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