Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will visit Russia shortly to hold talks with President Vladimir Putin in the countries’ latest effort to tackle a decades-long territorial dispute, their foreign ministers said Friday.
Tokyo-Moscow relations have been hamstrung by the row that dates back to the end of World War II when Soviet troops seized the four southernmost islands in the Kuril chain, known as the Northern Territories in Japan.
Over the years various leaders of both countries have met several times to discuss the dispute but a resolution has been elusive.
The lingering tensions have prevented them from signing a peace treaty, which has hindered trade and investment ties.
Visiting Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov held talks with Japanese counterpart Fumio Kishida Friday and they agreed to speed up finalizing Abe’s visit.