Moscow and Tokyo will continue to advance the negotiation process on a peace treaty, although it is not easy to resolve differences on the issue, which is already 70 years old, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said as part of a joint press statement after talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“It’s not easy to eliminate differences on the 70-year-old problem. We understand the importance of signing a peace treaty, and we must take steps towards this. Today we have once again confirmed our determination to move the peace treaty negotiations forward,” he said.

Abe said he is confident that both states will be able to move towards the goal set step by step.

The Japanese Prime Minister also said that Moscow and Tokyo recently “are expanding cooperation in such non-standard areas as the fight against drugs, cybersecurity and counter-terrorism.”

Abe also announced his government plans to ease the visa regime for Russian businessmen from September.

“We are planning to soften the visa regime for Russian entrepreneurs from September of this year. This measure is especially for Russia,” said Abe.

He also announced the opening of the “first year of interregional exchanges between Japan and Russia”, which starts with the beginning of 2020.

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