Abe, Putin Agree on New Framework for Island, Peace Treaty Talks
Buenos Aires, Dec. 1 (Jiji Press)--Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed Saturday on a new framework for peace treaty talks including the two countries' longstanding territorial dispute.
The two nations' foreign ministers--Taro Kono of Japan and Sergei Lavrov of Russia--will be responsible for the negotiations under the new framework, according to the agreement.
Kono and Lavrov are expected to meet in the run-up to a visit by Abe to Russia planned shortly after the turn of the year.
At their meeting in Buenos Aires, Abe and Putin also decided that Japanese Deputy Foreign Minister Takeo Mori and Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov will work under the foreign ministers for the bilateral negotiations. Mori and Morgulov were named special representatives of the Japanese prime minister and the Russian president, respectively.
The territorial row concerns four Russian-controlled northwestern Pacific islands that were seized by the former Soviet Union from Japan at the end of World War II. The issue has prevented Tokyo and Moscow from concluding a peace treaty to formally end their wartime hostilities. In Japan, the four islands are called Etorofu, the Habomais, Kunashiri and Shikotan, and collectively known as the Northern Territories.
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