Hayashi Conveys Grave Concern to Russia over Military Activities
Tokyo, Nov. 25 (Jiji Press)--Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi expressed grave concern over Russia's expanding military activities around Japan, during telephone talks with his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, on Thursday.
The telephone talks were the first between the two since Hayashi took office earlier this month.
The Japanese and Russian ministers agreed to meet in person at an early date to advance bilateral negotiations to resolve a long-standing territorial row and conclude a World War II peace treaty.
On the territorial issue over four Russian-held islands called the Northern Territories in Japan, they reaffirmed the 2018 summit-level agreement to accelerate the negotiations on the basis of the 1956 Japan-Soviet joint declaration, which calls for two of the four islands to be handed over to Japan after the peace treaty is concluded.
Hayashi requested Moscow's cooperation to restart promptly a program to allow visa-free visits to the islands by former Japanese residents. The program is currently suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.