An eight-point plan on cooperation with Russia proposed by Tokyo may bring many benefits to Japan as well, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said while responding to opposition members’ questions in the country’s parliament.
“If it is not beneficial for both countries, then Japanese companies won’t proceed into Russia. This cooperation is aimed at the development of Russia’s Far East using the Japanese technologies. Without a doubt, it will be very beneficial for us,” he said.
At the same time, Abe declined to provide details of the peace treaty talks saying only that “the eight-point [cooperation development] plan proposed by Japan is not linked to the four north islands issue, it concerns the development of the Russian Far East.” He also reiterated that the peace treaty issue “is not that simple so it cannot be solved at a single summit.” The Japanese Prime Minister stressed that “third generation Russians lives on these islands,” who “consider them their home.” “Unfortunately, the Japanese do not live there,” he added.
On May 6, at a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in the Russian city of Sochi, Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe put forward an eight-point cooperation plan. The proposal stipulates strengthening bilateral relations in the fields of energy, small and medium-size businesses as well as facilitating the industrialization of the Far East and expanding export capacity. The plan also envisages boosting cooperation in the sphere of cutting-edge technologies including nuclear energy, and enhancing humanitarian exchanges.
Russia and Japan have been holding consultations since the mid-20th century in order to clinch a peace treaty as a follow-up to World War II. The Kuril Islands issue remains the sticking point since after WWII the islands were handed over to the Soviet Union while Japan has laid claims to the four southern islands.
In 1956, the two countries signed a common declaration on ending the state of war and restoring diplomatic and all other relations, however, a peace treaty has still not been reached.
At the moment, the two countries are making preparations for Vladimir Putin’s visit to Japan scheduled for December 15-16, according to Russian Presidential Aide Yuri Ushakov. Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told TASS earlier that Moscow expected economic ties with Tokyo to be stepped up while a peace treaty was still being mulled over by experts.