"We would like to continue persistent talks [with Russia] in order to make an old dream of the former islands' inhabitants come true," Abe said in a conversation with the mayor of Nemuro city where some former Kuril inhabitants currently live.
Japan continues to closely watch Russian activity on the Kuril Islands and will react accordingly, according Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga.
Earlier this week, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu announced Russia's plans to build at least 392 buildings and other structures, including garrisons integrating developed infrastructure, on the islands of Kunashiri and Etorofu.
The Kuril Islands are the subject of a long-standing territorial dispute between Russia and Japan. Japan has claimed the islands of Kunashiri, Etorofu, Shikotan and on the Habomai group of islets dividing the Sea of Okhotsk from the Pacific ocean. The territorial dispute has prevented Russia and Japan from signing a peace treaty.
The relations between the two countries deteriorated after Tokyo announced support for Western economic sanctions against Russia imposed in 2014 over an alleged interference in an armed conflict in eastern Ukraine, which Moscow has denied.