Russian and Japanese foreign and defence ministers to discuss settling WWII dispute

Russian and Japanese foreign and defence ministers to discuss settling WWII dispute

The foreign and defence ministers of Japan and Russia will meet in Tokyo today for their bilateral 2+2 talks where they

japan russia 22 meeting

Photo: Russian MFA

The foreign and defence ministers of Japan and Russia will meet in Tokyo today for their bilateral 2+2 talks where they are expected to continue discussions over the Kuril Islands.

Recent negotiations have focused on a peace treaty that could settle the long-standing dispute over the Kuril Islands, also known as the Northern Territories in Japan. The islands are claimed by both countries but have been administered by Russia since the end of the Second World War.

Japanese PM Shinzo Abe has pursued regular dialogue with Moscow over the territories, focusing on joint economic cooperation and investment opportunities in the islands. These include agriculture, tourism and opportunities for energy exploration and production. Such a move by Japan is aimed at gaining access to the islands, whilst allowing Russia to retain sovereignty.

While a peace treaty is the primary aim of both sides, Japan is likely to continue pushing for a joint administration solution to the territories over the long-term. Bilateral talks are scheduled between Russian President Vladimir Putin and PM Abe at next month’s G20 summit in Osaka, where an agreement is still unlikely to be announced. National sovereignty and remaining economic negotiations are expected to hinder a potential agreement over the medium-term.

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