Settlement of certain issues related to approaching a peace treaty with Japan, including those related to Tokyo’s obligations to other countries, may take years, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin told a news conference after APEC’s summit, where among other meetings he had talks with Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Russia and Japan have many joint plans in the economy, which were initiated by Prime Minister Abe, the Russian president said. The countries discuss security in the region, including the issue around the DPRK. At the meeting, the parties discussed also a peace treaty between Russia and Japan, Putin added.

“There are many questions related to the peace treaty. It is not a secret: we here should also see what obligations in security Japan has with its counterparts, how they may influence the negotiation process on a peace treaty with Russia, what Japan can and what it cannot do on its own,” the Russian president said. “We need to clarify all that, it is a big job, and, maybe, it will take years.”

At the same time, there are issues of bilateral relations, which could be solved now, he continued. The president spoke about the visa-free visits to the Kuril Islands, including visits to the closed districts, for former residents, who now live in Japan. The countries have agreed trips for Japanese businesses to the Islands to discuss joint projects.

“These trips have been organized. This means that something could be done right now, but something, most probably, would be for a long term. This does not depend on people at power – Abe or Putin, or whoever else. This does not matter. What matters is the mood of our countries, our people towards a long-term settlement of all the problems, so that to offer favorable conditions for development of our relations not short-term, not even mid-term, but for a long historic period,” the Russian president said.

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