The Monday meeting is set to become the first round of Russian-Japanese consultations on a peace treaty. The Japanese Foreign Ministry, however, has declined to comment on the talks with Russia about the belated peace treaty.
“We would like to refrain from commenting on the talks, including the issues that were raised,” the ministry told Sputnik.
The fact that Japan and Russia have never signed a permanent peace treaty after the end of World War II has long been a stumbling block in Russia-Japan relations. The main issue standing in the way of a treaty is an agreement concerning a group of four islands that both countries claim — Iturup, Kunashir, Shikotan and Habomai, collectively referred to as the Southern Kurils by Russia and the Northern Territories by Japan.
On November 14, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe agreed at a meeting in Singapore to enhance talks on a peace treaty's conclusion based on the 1956 Soviet-Japanese joint declaration, the only document recognized by both countries.