"We must resolve the territorial issue that remains between our two nations and achieve a peace treaty," Abe said on Tuesday.
The Japanese prime minister said his most recent meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok was the 22nd one held as national leaders and that they planned to meet again soon.
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.
Tokyo and Moscow have been engaged in consultations on carrying out joint economic activities on the disputed islands.