Wednesday, 14 November, 2018

Putin Surprises Abe With Offer of Japan-Russia Peace Treaty

Japanese business mission to visit Russia’s Kuril Islands – Putin & Abe The Island of Kunashir one of four islands known as the Southern Kuriles in Russia and the Northern Territories in Japan
Gerardo Duncan | 14 September, 2018, 18:38

"After that, I very much wish to invite President Xi to Japan", said Abe, speaking after meeting China's leader Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the forum.

"Let's conclude a peace agreement, not now but by year's end without any preconditions", Putin said, prompting the audience to break into applause.

Shinzo Abe also said the living generation has the responsibility to "completely remove the post-war scenery" from the region.

In the past, Russian Federation and Japan have proposed initiating various joint economic projects on the disputed islands as a first step in resolving the conflict.

President Vladimir Putin suggested Wednesday Russia and Japan sign a peace deal "without any preconditions" by the end of the year, a historic proposal to try to solve a territorial dispute after decades of deadlock.

"It seems to me that this would facilitate the solution of all problems which we have not been able to solve during the past 70 years".

Analysts say that presence of the two leaders who have arrived from Tokyo and Seoul demonstrates the interest of key countries of the Asia-Pacific in realising Mr. Putin's ambitious regional plan, which has China and other countries, including India, as possible partners.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe also attended. Japan wants them back.

Japan and the Soviet Union signed a joint declaration aimed at ending wartime hostilities and restoring diplomatic ties in 1956.

China's Global Times newspaper said China and Russian Federation could "create a vital influence" when the two countries worked together.

The Russian leader said he wanted to clinch the peace treaty first and then continue to discuss the territorial issue with Abe as "friends", during a question and answer session of the forum's plenary meeting.

"This stance hasn't changed", he added.

The disputed Kuril Islands lie between Russia's Kamchatka Peninsula and the Japanese island of Hokkaido. "Putin does not expect anything", Georgy Kunadze, a former Russian deputy foreign minister, told AFP news agency, adding that Abe would never accept a deal that would be political suicide for him.

Yoshihide Suga, Japan's chief cabinet secretary and top government spokesman, told a regular press briefing this week: "Our position that the Northern Territories issue is resolved before any peace treaty remains unchanged".

Abe has proposed making the islands a joint economic zone, which could lead to a settlement.

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