Abe announced his intention to conclude a peace treaty with Russia

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced his intention to solve the problem of the “northern territories”, which includes Kunashir, Shikotan, Iturup and Habomai, as well as conclude a peace treaty with Russia, turning these territories into “islands of friendship”.

According to the Prime Minister, Japan and Russia must find a solution acceptable to both sides and strengthen relations of trust and friendship, because the absence of a peace treaty between the countries for 74 years is an abnormal situation. Abe also noted that for three years, the Japanese can come to the islands by plane to visit the graves of their ancestors, as well as the fact that joint economic activity is being promoted on the islands.

“Last year, pilot projects on tourism and garbage processing were carried out. I continue to intend to listen to the opinions of former residents of the islands, I intend to continue to move towards the implementation of activities so that it does not violate the legal position of both countries”, – Abe said on Congress for the Return of the Northern Territories. 

In turn, Japanese Foreign Minister Motegi Toshimitsu said that Japan intends this year to further expand its joint economic activities in the “northern islands”.

“We are negotiating with the Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to find a solution mutually acceptable for both sides. Last year we managed to implement pilot projects in the field of tourism and waste processing. This year we intend to expand our industries and further intensify the implementation of projects. The government will continue to engage in a dialogue with Russia to resolve the territorial problem and conclude a peace treaty”, – Tosimitsu emphasized.

Every year, the congress takes place on the so-called Northern Territories Day, which is celebrated in Japan on February 7. The event is traditionally attended by the Prime Minister, Foreign Minister and other members of the Japanese Cabinet.

The Northern Territory Day is celebrated in Japan on the anniversary of the signing of the Shimod treaty of 1855 with Russia, according to which Kunashir, Shikotan, Iturup and Habomai, the islands, which it demands from Russia in the post-war period, returned to Japan.

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