In Surprise Move, Putin Proposes Signing Peace Pact With Japan This Year

Putin Xi flip pancakes at Russian economic forum

Putin Xi flip pancakes at Russian economic forum

The dispute between Russian Federation and Japan centres on four islands in the strategically-located Kuril chain which the Soviet Union occupied at the end of war in 1945 but are claimed by Japan. However, Putin attempted to seize the initiative on Wednesday, shortly after Abe told a plenary session that it was up to the two of them to finally make progress.

In an attempt to break an impasse, the Abe administration has proposed bilateral economic cooperation in Russia's Far East region and joint economic activities on the Russian-held, Japanese-claimed islands as a means to pave the way for settling the decades-long territorial dispute and eventually signing a peace treaty.

Both Moscow and Tokyo claim sovereignty over the islands, known in Russian Federation as the Kurile islands and in Japan as the Northern Territories. In September, 1951, the Soviet Union refused to sign the Peace Treaty of San Francisco with Japan.

"Let us walk together mindful of the questions 'If we don't do it now, then when?' And 'If we don't do it, then who will?'" Abe said.

Putin said the conclusion of such a deal would create a better atmosphere and allow Russian Federation and Japan to "continue to solve all outstanding issues like friends".

Xi and Putin had their third meeting in four months, charting the future course of the China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination and exchanging views on major worldwide and regional issues, Wang said. "We have been negotiating for 70 years", Mr Putin said.

Suga also said Putin had not mentioned the proposal during a summit meeting with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Monday.

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The disputed Kuril Islands lie between Russia's Kamchatka Peninsula and the Japanese island of Hokkaido.

"This is called trolling".

The quest for the return of the islands is an emotive issue in Japan, and Kunadze suggested that Abe would never accept a deal that would be political suicide.

Russian and Japanese Foreign Ministry officials said that work on a future agreement would continue as usual, and a Japanese official made clear that Tokyo wants an agreement on possession of the islands before it will sign a peace treaty. "This stance hasn't changed".

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

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