Moscow will make efforts to build up cooperation with Japan in various areas, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in a message to the participants of the Russian-Japanese forum in Tokyo.


The forum that opened on Monday is devoted to the 60th anniversary of restoring diplomatic relations between the two countries after signing the Soviet-Japanese Joint Declaration of 1956.


Lavrov’s message was read out by Russia’s Ambassador to Japan Yevgeny Afanasyev.


“The signing of a declaration that ended the state of war and restored diplomatic relations between the countries became a major historic event and an important milestone on the path of steady development of the relations,” the message read. “For our part, we plan to make further efforts to step up bilateral cooperation, in particular, in the area of political, cultural, scientific and economic exchanges,” it said.


Russia and Japan have no peace treaty signed after World War II. The settlement of this 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, Habomai, Iturup and Kunashir, which Japan calls its northern territories.