STRELNA, September 5 (RIA Novosti) – Russian President Vladimir Putin, an avid judoist, on Thursday agreed with Japan’s prime minister that a post-World War II peace deal between the two states could finally be reached only under the judo principle of hikiwake – “no winner, no loser.”
The two states have never signed a permanent peace treaty after World War II because of a long-running territorial dispute over the Kuril Islands in the north Pacific, occupied by Soviet forces at the end of the war and still claimed by Japan.
Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Putin and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had made the judo-style agreement on the sidelines of the G20 summit near St. Petersburg.
“The issue of a peace treaty between Russia and Japan was raised briefly, but intensely. Both sides have expressed understanding that a solution to the peace treaty problem can be reached only on the basis of the ‘no winner, no loser’ principle,” Peskov said.
“This is what is called hikiwake in Japanese. Putin, as a judoist, is quite familiar with this notion, and the two leaders agreed that this principle should serve as a basis for approaching this problem,” the spokesman added.
A Japanese foreign ministry spokesman said Putin and Abe had also discussed various aspects of bilateral economic relations, such as agriculture, medical technologies and cooperation in Russia’s Far East.