Russia and Japan need to overcome all the challenges, put an end to the “abnormal situation”, and make a peace treaty regarding the Kuril Islands, stated Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the Eastern Economic Forum, Interfax reports.
According to Abe, in the last year Russian and Japanese relations have seen the beginning of the progress which the countries had been unable to achieve in 70 years. He added that soon it may be possible to see the “bright future of Russian-Japanese relations, which will be able to completely develop all the existing potential”.
“It is precisely for this reason that we need to put an end to the abnormal situation, since to this day we do not have a peace treaty. Vladimir, the two of us need to fulfill this duty together,” Abe said, appealing to the Russian president.
He also urged the two nations to overcome all the challenges and leave the young people of the next generation “a world in which the two countries – Russia and Japan – will be able to develop all of their potential”.
Russia and Japan have been unable to make a peace treaty since the end of World War II. After the war, the Kuril Islands were included in the USSR, but Japan disputed its claim to three islands and one group of islands. In 1956, the USSR and Japan adopted the Moscow Declaration, according to which the state of war between the two nations ended, and it was determined that the Habomai and Shikotan islands would be given to Japan, but this could only happen after the signing of a peace treaty. Japan, under pressure from the US, refused to sign it, since the US threatened not to return the Ryukyu archipelago and the Okinawa Islands to Japan.
After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the territorial dispute with Japan was passed on to Russia. In December 2016, the two countries agreed to joint economic activities on the islands, including development in the areas of tourism, ecology, medicine and the economy. Putin called for the “historical ping pong” regarding the ownership of the Kuril Islands to be stopped.
In February, Japan lodged a protest with Russia for assigning names to five of the Kuril Islands.