Japan will continue to promote talks with Russia on signing a peace treaty, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told a press conference on Wednesday.
Abe said Tokyo will continue its current foreign policy course.
“Fumio Kishida will remain the Foreign Minister, and he will use his experience and his personal connections. We will continue strengthening relations with China, South Korea and neighboring countries, as well as continue promoting talks on signing a peace treaty with Russia,” the prime minister noted.
Russia and Japan have no peace treaty signed after World War II.
Settlement of the problem inherited by Russia’s diplomacy from the Soviet Union is hampered by the years-long dispute over the four islands of Russia’s Southern Kurils – Shikotan, Khabomai, Iturup and Kunashir, which Japan calls its Northern Territories.
After World War II, in September 1945, Japan signed the capitulation, and in February 1946, the Kuril Islands were declared territories of the Soviet Union. In 1956, a joint declaration was signed ending the state of war between the USSR and Japan, but no peace treaty was signed.
During the Cold War, Moscow did not recognize the territorial problem, but in October 1993, when Russian president Boris Yeltsin was on an official visit in Japan, the existence of the problem was confirmed officially.
However, the two countries have reached no compromise over the disputed islands yet.