"We will spare no efforts to hold the talks, determined to reach settlement over present generation’s life expectancy. For this reason I would like to visit Russia in the first half of the year," Abe said, as quoted by the Kyodo news agency.
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.