TOKYO (Sputnik) — Japan intends to discuss ways in which it can establish mutual trust with Russia with regard to security in the Asia-Pacific region, Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida said Friday ahead of consultations in the "2+2" format between the Russian and Japanese foreign and defense ministers in Tokyo on March 20.
“We want to discuss frankly how to establish mutual confidence between Japan and Russia in the security area in the Asia-Pacific region in terms of mutual understanding between the two countries bearing in mind an even more complicated situation in the region, including against the backdrop of the latest ballistic missile launches by North Korea,” Kishida told reporters.
Moscow and Tokyo have never signed a permanent peace treaty after the World War II due to Tokyo's claims to a group of Russia's Southern Kurils islands. In December 2016, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe held a second round of talks on resolving the dispute. The two leaders agreed to create a special regime on the islands leading to the implementation of joint economic projects in the area.