12:46 GMT27 November 2020
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    TOKYO (Sputnik) - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Wednesday that Tokyo and Moscow would start a new period in bilateral relations that would be based on trust between him and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

    "The Nagato agreements [reached in 2016 with Putin] are progressing. We will solve the territorial dispute and sign a peace treaty based on the trustful relationship between myself and the Russian president. We will open a new era in the Japanese-Russian relations," the prime minister told the parliament.

    READ MORE: Japan Expresses Protest to Russia Over Missile Exercises on Kuril Islands

    According to Abe, the scenario where the two states have no a peace treaty for over 70 years now is "abnormal."

    In September, Putin proposed at a plenary session of the Eastern Economic Forum to sign a peace treaty between Russia and Japan until the end of the year. Tokyo responded that it would keep maintaining its position that the peace treaty with Russia could be concluded only after the settlement of the territorial dispute.

    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 Russian-Japanese 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.

    In 2016, the two leaders agreed during Putin's visit to Nagato to carry out joint economic activities on the disputed islands.


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